TORNILLO, Texas (KDBC) — Congressman Will Hurd toured the tents at the Tornillo port of entry that will be used to house migrant children, following the U.S. government decision to house immigrant children separated from their parents.
Early Friday, children were seen playing soccer outside the tents.
Hurd said the facilities have men ranging from the age 16-17 years old.
"If you're trying to use kids to fix a broken immigration system, it's the wrong thing to do," said Hurd.
Hurd said the boys are not boys who were usually not separated from their parents rather kids who came as unaccompanied minors.
Hurd said policy is the problem. He said kids are being used as a deterrence policy.
Hurd said the facilities are equipped with air conditioner, showers staff there are prepared for floods. He also said the kids get three meals a day.
Hurd also said there are legal groups and case workers that working with the teens to figure it if there is a family member they can be released to.
Congressman Will Hurd who represents the Tornillo area released the following statement early Friday:
I’m disappointed in the lack of information that HHS has provided about the detention situation along the border especially plans for a “tent city” in Tornillo. The crisis along the border is not new and will continue until we have smart border security, work to address root causes of mass migration from Central American countries and have enough immigration judges to apply consequences for violation of the law. Our strategy to solving our broken immigration system should never include the use of children as a deterrent.
The Trump administration selected the Tornillo Land Point of Entry as a temporary shelter for the immigrant children.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration’s "zero tolerance" policy in April, stating that thousands of children separated from their parents at the border have quickly filled Texas shelters.
Temperatures in Tornillo are typically around 100 degrees during the month of June, but a spokesperson from the department says that temporary shelter tents will be air-conditioned.
The Texas Tribune reports that a spokesperson from the department says tents at this Tornillo site will take in about 360 children in the coming days and expand from there.