Images of an immigrant child detention center show the conditions in which nearly 1,500 undocumented migrant boys are being sheltered in Brownsville, Texas.
MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff and other journalists toured the facility, named Casa Padre. Soboroff reported his observations and some pictures of the facility in a lengthy Twitter threat Wednesday night.
Inside the facility, called Casa Padre, there are some painted murals of President Donald Trump that feature quotes, including one that read in English and Spanish: “Sometimes losing a battle you find a new way to win the war,” Soboroff reported.
The reporter observed that nearly every room in the facility was housing multiple children, despite it being constructed to house four. Children were only allowed to leave the complex for two hours each day, and some of them spent time inside watching the Disney animated film “Moana” and learning about US history, Soboroff reported.
“This place is called a shelter, but effectively these kids are incarcerated, Soboroff said on MSNBC, pointing to photos he took during a tour supervised by the US Health and Human Services department. One of those photos showed an unidentified child having a barcode that was attached to his wrist being scanned, as he stood in line with a tray of food.
According to Soboroff, one of the first things a shelter employee asked journalists to do was to smile at the kids because they would otherwise feel like animals locked up in a cage.
Casa Padre, which reportedly used to be a Walmart, is operated by the firm, Southwest Key, which runs more than a dozen shelters housing migrant children in Texas, the San Antonio Express News reports. The organization is contracted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a division of the Health and Human Services department, which manages minors who arrived to the US illegally and oversees their transfer to family custody or foster care.
The Trump administration began implementing what it calls a “zero-tolerance” policy with regard to immigrant families crossing the US-Mexico border illegally. The policy calls for adults to be criminally prosecuted, causing them to lose custody of the children accompanying them.
According to assistant federal public defender, Miguel Nogueras in an interview with CNN, roughly 500 children had been separated from their parents since May.