Tornillo tent city
The Tornillo tent city is a temporary minor immigrant detention facility located in Tornillo, Texas and run by the Department of Health and Human Services. The tent city is designed to house 450 minor immigrants to the United States. The tent city was confirmed as a site on June 14, 2018. Within 24 hours, the facility was erected and 100 minors were on location. The shelter has a capacity for 4,000 minors.
The tent city in Tornillo, Texas was created in order to "house the overflow of immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents," according to NBC News. It is run by the Administration for Children and Families which is a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The tent city is meant to be a temporary shelter and is the first one constructed to house children who have been separated from their families under Trump's "zero tolerance policy" for families entering the United States illegally. United States Representative, Will Hurd, said that "he was told that only teenage boys were at the facility -- and that they were children who had entered the country by themselves." However, U.S. Representative, Beto O'Rourke, said that children who were separated from their families were also housed in the tent city. It is currently unclear whether the minors housed in the tent city were separated from their families or had been apprehended without adults present.
The shelter is located near the Tornillo Land Port of Entry on the border of Texas and Mexico. It was designed to start taking in 360 children, with further plans for expansion. The entire facility was built within 24 hours of the federal government confirming the location of the shelter. The location was confirmed on June 14, 2018 and by the next day, 100 children were already located on site. The shelter has the capacity for 4,000 children. The shelter apparently doubled in size from June 18 to June 19, according to aerial photographs taken by Reuters.
Tents housing the children are air-conditioned, according to a spokesperson from DHS. The tents can hold up to 20 children and 2 adults at a time. The tents have bunk beds. There is no shade in the area surrounding the tents. The tent city facility also has showers, toilets, medical facilities, meeting spaces and fire trucks. It is fenced in with chain link fencing topped with barbed wire. There is one adult for every ten children and minors receive three meals a day and snacks. It has been estimated by DHS that it costs $775 per migrant child per night to house them inside the tent city.
Texas State Senator, José Rodríguez, called housing children in the shelters "totally inhumane and it is outrageous." The area was currently experiencing 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit weather. Texas State Representative, César Blanco, said that housing immigrant children in tents was "dehumanizing and tarnishes Texas' tradition of welcoming immigrants."
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