(New York) – A satellite image taken on September 13, 2018, shows substantial growth in the tent city the US government is using to detain migrant children located in the desert in Tornillo, Texas.
The tent city was originally used to house children separated from parents this summer, when the Trump administration was aggressively prosecuting parents traveling with children for illegal entry to the US. The US Department of Health and Human Services has stated that the new growth in the number of tents is necessary in order to house children who may cross the border on their own, unaccompanied by family members.
The image from September 13, 2018 shows that since June 19th, the date of a previous satellite image, the number of tent shelters has nearly quadrupled, from 28 to 101 tents. At a reported capacity of 20 children per tent, the tent city can currently house 2,020 children, which is only half of the government’s stated goal of 3,800 beds at the Tornillo facility. In addition to the completed tents, there are numerous tents that can be seen currently under construction as well as several larger buildings that have recently been built.
“Children should not be detained, since locking up kids harms their health and development,” said Alison Parker, US managing director of Human Rights Watch. “There are safe and viable alternatives to detaining children that the US government should put to use immediately.”