New Use for Old Texas Walmart: Immigrant Detention

The New York Occasions visits a former Walmart Supercenter in Brownsville, Texas, that has develop into the major accredited migrant children’s shelter in the state — a warehouse for just about 1,500 boys aged 10 to 17 who were being caught illegally crossing the border. The 250,000-square-foot facility is a model of border existence in Trump-era America, component of a expanding market of detention facilities and shelters as federal authorities scramble to comply with the president’s order to finish “catch and release” of migrants illegally getting into the state. Now that youngsters are typically becoming divided from their parents, this facility has experienced to get hold of a waiver from the state to extend its capability.

Federal authorities are thinking about establishing tent towns on Army and Air Pressure bases, and have now transferred hundreds of immigrant detainees to temporary housing at federal prisons. The federal Office environment of Refugee Resettlement is now overseeing an estimated 100 shelters in 17 states, serving a population that has grown to far more than 11,000 youths. A single of the largest concentrations is in close proximity to the border in South Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley, just one of the poorest regions in the country. There are about 10 shelters in three Valley counties, the bulk in the Cameron County towns of Brownsville, Harlingen and San Benito. The shelters have develop into significant business, using hundreds of people and bringing abandoned shops, educational facilities and other buildings back again to existence.

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