Trump Regime Will Triple Size of Child Detention Camp

[Content Note: Nativism; child abuse.]

In addition to redirecting FEMA funds to ICE for use in their heinous nativist war on immigrants, the Trump Regime has also announced that it will triple the size of the child detention camp in Texas — the one near El Paso, where the average high temperature in September is 85°.

Nick Miroff at the Washington Post reports:
A tent camp for migrant children in the desert outside El Paso will expand to accommodate a growing number of Central American children crossing the border, the Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday.

HHS, the federal agency tasked with caring for migrant children and teenagers in U.S. custody, said it would more than triple the size of its camp at the Tornillo-Guadalupe Land Port of Entry from 1,200 beds to as many as 3,800.

...Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for HHS's Administration for Children and Families, said the need for emergency capacity was the result of the latest surge at the border, not the administration's decision to separate families during the crackdown this spring.

"'Family separations' resulting from the zero tolerance policy ended on June 20, 2018 and are not driving this need," Wolfe said in a statement.
So, take note: The HHS spokesperson, in victim-blaming undocumented children for the Trump Regime detaining them in a tent camp, has also (inadvertently) admitted that their "zero tolerance" policy did not work. It was justified as a deterrence measure, but if there's a fresh "surge at the border" requiring the creation of more capacity to hold undocumented children, then the deterrence didn't work. Something to remember for the next time they roll out that codswallop, which they certainly will in future.

Further, the HHS went to great pains to explain that they're definitely taking good care of those children in their detention camp, assuring the public that they "sleep in large, climate-controlled canvas tents, and the site offers a full range of services including recreational and educational activities."

It's unclear what makes the tents "climate-controlled." Climate-controlled tents can mean anything from a tent with portable HVAC and solar panels to a tent with a small, battery-powered fan. Without knowing any details, we cannot remotely be certain that the tents are adequately equipped to protect the children housed in them.

As I've previously noted: Children are "more susceptible to heat illness than adults for many reasons, including a greater surface area to body mass ratio, lower rate of sweating, and slower rate of acclimatization. The prevention of heat illness is based on recognizing and modifying risk factors," like, presumably, not housing children in concentration camps in the El Paso heat.

Because even if the tents are fine, the fact is that we're still talking about the United States government detaining children fleeing violence and/or extreme poverty and/or oppression in fucking tents in a camp in the desert.

And it's about to be three times the size it is now.

There is nothing okay about that.

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