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Report: Migrant children desperate to escape ‘tent city’ in Texas

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By Jenny Goldsberry

After crossing the border alone, children sheltered at Fort Bliss in Texas are attempting to escape according to report from CBS News Wednesday. Federal officials are now placing some children in 24-hour surveillance to keep them from escaping and also self-harming. The facility is made up of tents housing hundreds of migrants.

The Department of Homeland Security recently changed how the U.S. processes unaccompanied minors found at the border. Children are now sheltered by Human Health Services rather than Customs and Border Protection.

“They do not belong in a Border Patrol station,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at the time. “Children belong in the shelter of Health and Human Services.”

As a result, migrant children have spent less and less time with Border Patrol. Back in March, each child spent an average of 133 hours in the custody of CBP. Now, in May, the average decreased to 26 hours per child. But, there is no data on how much time is spent in the custody of HHS.

“There’s very little communicated to these kids about the process and amount of time they’ll be here,” a federal government employee who volunteered at the “tent city” told CBS News. “So they live in constant doubt, uncertainty and fear about what’s gonna happen to them.”

“They’ve gone from a small cage at Border Patrol to a larger cage at Fort Bliss,” another federal government employee familiar with the site told CBS News. “It’s a juvenile detention facility.”

Read the full article here.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Immigration

DHS Secretary Mayorkas Says We Cannot Remove ‘11 Million Undocumented Individuals’ Unlawfully in U.S.

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Mayorkas
DHS Secretary Mayorkas

Troubling details were unearthed during the questioning of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by the Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Grassley asked Mayorkas about a DHS memo from September 30 which reads: “The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen will not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them.”

“Does that reasoning apply to the [1.2] million illegal immigrants who have received due process and been given a final order of removal by an immigration judge?” Grassley asked Mayorkas.

“We cannot remove 1.2 million individuals, nor can we remove more than 11 million undocumented individuals, individuals who are unlawfully present in the United States, who might not have final orders of removal” Mayorkas answered.

Mayorkas also stated that he had issued the due process policy after drawing on “tremendous experience not only as a member of the Department of Homeland Security but as a federal prosecutor.”

Grassley pressed Mayorkas, asking, “should any of them be removed?”

“Of course,” Mayorkas said. “I do believe that individuals who pose a public safety threat, who pose a national security threat, who pose a border security threat, should be removed, and we should be smart and effective in our use of resources, and we should focus on the well-being of our communities and prioritize individuals for removal.”

In his opening statements, Grassley addressed Mayorkas and stated, “When you allow the ACLU and open-borders immigration activists rather than career law enforcement professionals to dictate the terms of your immigration and border policies, then you shouldn’t be surprised when record-shattering numbers of people start showing up at the border to take advantage of that.”

Grassley continued, “When you run DHS like it’s an ‘Abolish ICE’ fan club, you shouldn’t be surprised when you have an illegal immigration crisis on your hands.”

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