US to Build Big Processing Facility for Migrant Kids

Site in McAllen, Texas, will hold 1K children

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 24, 2014 12:14 PM CDT

(Newser) – With the number of child immigrants from Central America overwhelming Border Patrol stations, the US plans to convert a giant warehouse into a processing facility for the kids in Texas, reports AP. The facility in McAllen will accommodate about 1,000 children, who will have access to an "interaction/play" area during their stay. The government has been struggling to cope with the rising number of unaccompanied kids caught at the border—about 50,000 since October, up nearly 100% from a year earlier.

Most have been caught in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, but because the border stations there aren't equipped to house kids for any length of time, the feds have been flying them by the planeload to a facility in Arizona for processing. The new site should help ease that, though it won't do much to solve the larger issue of families in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador sending their kids on the journey to the US. Republicans blame the policies of President Obama, who has sought help from Mexico in going after criminals who convince families to ship their kids to America, notes the LA Times.

This June 18 photo shows children sleeping in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville,Texas.
This June 18 photo shows children sleeping in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville,Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay, Pool)
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