An old warehouse in Nogales, Arizona has been temporarily converted into a holding area for a group of immigrant children, many of them unaccompanied by a parent or guardian, that’s said to number over 1000. According to Fox News, the Department of Homeland Security began flying children there from Texas after the Border Patrol was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of immigrants attempting to cross into the United States. Over 48,000 unaccompanied immigrant children (UICs) have crossed into America this year alone.
Poor living conditions
The shelter is said to be lacking in the essentials as it was thrown together hastily following the decision to move the UICs there from Texas. The state has responded by ordering 2000 mattresses, along with other basic staples such as nutritious meals, portable toilets and showers. It’s expected that the number of children housed there will soon be over 1400, nearly reaching the official capacity of the building, which is rated for 1500 people. One official from the DHS, who spoke to Fox News on the condition of anonymity, indicated that the camp was put together as a last resort, and that many of the logistics are still being worked out, leaving these children in a compromising setting.
“[The Department of Health and Human Services] became so overwhelmed and haven’t kept up with planning,” the official said.
Orders have been placed to have medical supplies delivered to the warehouse so officials can perform medical checks and provide vaccinations for the children already there. Following this, other interim facilities are being established in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Ventura, California, and San Antonio. Upon being delivered to Arizona, according to the Los Angeles Times, it’s expected that UICs will stay in Nogales for up to 72 hours prior to being transported once more to the other, aforementioned facilities. These centers will be designed to host the children in a more permanent fashion for up to 120 days. While no endgame solution has yet been brought to the table, Brewer remains adamant that this crisis begins and ends in the hands of the federal government.
“This is a crisis of the federal government’s creation, and the fact that the border remains unsecure – now apparently intentionally – while this operation continues full-steam ahead is deplorable,” Brewer was quoted as saying.