TRUMP’S ‘ZERO TOLERANCE’ AT THE BORDER IS CAUSING CHILD SHELTERS TO FILL UP FAST

Nick Miroff

May 29, 2018

Nick Miroff reports that the system responsible for unaccompanied migrant children is reaching its capacity. Under the zero-tolerance policy, the system now includes children separated from their families upon arrival in the US. The total number of children in federal custody “has surged 21 percent in the past month.” Since the system of shelters used by the Office of Refugee Resettlement is at 95 percent capacity, “HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] is also exploring the possibility of housing children on military bases but views the measure as a ‘last option.’” The possible shortage of shelters might be exacerbated by another new policy that allows the Department of Homeland Security to access more information about sponsors that is held by HHS. Miroff writes that this change attempts “to deter parents from attempting to send for their children while knowing they can get custody with little fear of deportation.” Statistics find that recently, “the average time children spent at HHS shelters increased from 51 to 56 days.” Miroff also reports on recent comments made by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, who “appeared to dismiss experts’ warnings that separating children from their parents inflicts emotional and psychological damage to the kids, saying they’ll ‘be taken care of - put into foster care or whatever.’”