Mike Blake / Reuters
A Honduran father illegally crossing the border with his daughter was released on Monday in El Paso with an ankle monitor – the same day his daughter was 10 years old in a government-led shelter.
Father and daughter were separated for the month in which he was imprisoned for immigrants and customs officers, and she was in a Ministry of Health home. He said he called a 1-800 number that HHS set up to get an update on his daughter.
"It rang and rang without an answer," Mario said Monday. The disturbed father wanted to be identified only by his first name Mario, because he feared that the pronunciation could violate his asylum application.
"I'm crushed," he continued. "I do not know about her, today she is 10 years old and I can not call her and tell her how much I love her."
John Burnett / NPR
The Trump government's "zero tolerance" initiative against illegal border crossings – which has resulted in families being separated on the Mexico-US border – has effectively ended, at least for now. The customs and border guards said on Monday that he would no longer convince every prisoner.
"A much better system would be to keep families together through their entry procedures," CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Monday in McAllen, Texas. "Obama did that in 2014, and that's exactly what the President asked Congress to do to help us now."
CBP's announcement comes less than a week after President Trump signed an executive order to end the controversial separation of migrant families at the border. He insisted that the administration continue to prosecute any person caught in the illegal transfer. On Monday, government officials called on Congress to provide more resources to secure the border.
The reality on the border, after a customs and border guard, the agency is overwhelmed. Border surveillance stations are overcrowded and children wait in cage-like cells while their mothers and fathers go to court in shackles. They simply do not have the means to enforce "zero tolerance."
Federal officials also complain that they spend more time treating immigrants than guarding the border.
"This is a big challenge for our agents," said McAleenan.
Overwhelming Customs and Border Protection Stops Zero Tolerance for Migrants
Health and Services spokesman Mark Weber says the agency's primary goal is family reunification and that they know where the children's parents are , The agency operates more than 100 shelters and continues to be criticized by parents, lawyers and lawyers who say the government is not doing enough to reunite the 2,000 or so children who are still in the homeless shelters.
Paul Ratje / AFP / Getty Images
Weber says the agency is "working as fast as possible", but that the reunification process takes time because sponsors need to be checked before children are released to them. Weber said Monday at a border crossing in Tornillo, Texas, where the agency's newest emergency shelter is located. "We do not want to release a child too soon, too fast, because we Did not pay attention This child will be reunited with a parent or a suitable loved one whom the parents have named. "
On average, the children spend about two months in the shelters before being released to live with a family member." Some are at the Tornillo shelter – a collection of about 20 sand-colored tents in the remote, wind-swept border in Tornillo, Texas, about 30 miles east of El Paso, critics have dubbed it a "tent city" about 100 yards from a steel fence and the Rio Grande Bey and the.
The homeless shelter has 326 migrant children ages 12 to 17 Twenty-three of them were separated from their parents when they illegally crossed the border, and under the then suspended child separation policy of the President they were sent here and the parents are held elsewhere to see If your petition has been opened urgently 12 days ago, said one official, three of the 23 have been reunited with the parents.
Reporters who visited the camp were not allowed to speak to the children, who smiled and gave up when they were asked how they were doing.
In the Chihuahuan Desert, it is completely independent, with temperatures rising to 103 degrees in the afternoon. They have big air conditioners in every big military tent. There's even a cooling station next to the football field, which is made up of AstroTurf, where kids chug Gatorade and sit next to the fans. The shelter also has its own power supply, water and internet.
They have the same benefits as other HHS nurseries – 24-hour mental health and medical care, individual clerks, a canteen with three hot meals a day.
Also in the shelter: a telephone tent with nine operators. The children should be able to call family members in the US or abroad, tell them where they are and try to reunite with them.