According to recent reports, hundreds of migrant children from Kansas to New York have been bussed in the middle of the night in long, cross-country journeys to a “tent city” in Tornillo, Texas.
Why? The government is struggling to find room for the more than 13,000 migrant children now in the country, the highest that number has ever been, representing a fivefold increase since just last year.
The conditions these children are forced to live in are unconscionable:
- Children sleep in groups of 20, separated by gender, in bunks.
- There is no school. Children are simply given workbooks, which they are not required to complete.
- And, crucially, access to legal representation is limited. Without a lawyer, a child’s chances of remaining safely in the country are slim.
The need for these tents is largely a problem of the Trump Administration’s own making. The number of children entering the country has not increased, but harsh rhetoric and draconian policies introduced by the administration have made sponsors reluctant to claim a child. Indeed, sponsors who have recently stepped forward have been arrested on immigration charges.
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