A sprawling tent city in Tornillo, Tx., that once housed 1,000 unaccompanied migrant children was closed after a change by the Trump administration made it easier to place children with sponsors in the U.S.
A sprawling tent city in Tornillo, Tx., housing unaccompanied migrant children was closed after a change by the Trump administration made it easier to place children with sponsors in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports. The tent city was set up in June amid a spike in arrests of unaccompanied children caught crossing the border illegally and at the height of the administration’s short-lived policy of separating families and children caught at the border. The children were either released to sponsors or sent to other Department of Health and Human Services facilities, said HHS official Lynn Johnson.
Last month, the Trump administration reversed a policy requiring all adults in a house where a migrant child would be placed to submit fingerprints to federal authorities. Immigration advocates said the policy discouraged sponsors from coming forward out of fear that someone in their home could be targeted by federal authorities for being in the U.S. illegally. The fingerprint checks also created a backlog of reviews. The Tornillo facility was originally designated as a temporary, emergency shelter meant to be open for just a month and to house a few hundred children, each for a few days. By October, the average child spent about a month there. At one point, it held more than 1,000. President Trump has described the influx of children and families, most of whom are seeking asylum, as a national security crisis and called for more than $5 billion for a border wall.