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Detained Migrant Teen Finds His Own Loophole

15-year-old from Honduras walks away from Texas facility, and authorities can't stop him
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2018 8:00 AM CDT
Dignitaries take a tour of Casa Padre, a U.S. immigration facility in Brownsville, Texas, Monday, June 18, 2018, where children are detained. It is a converted Walmart.   (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP)

(Newser) – A teenager from Honduras being held in a high-profile immigration detention center in Texas may have just exposed a vulnerability in the system: The 15-year-old simply walked off the premises, and authorities there were powerless to stop him, reports the New York Times. The teen left the Case Padre migrant children's center in Brownsville, Texas, on Saturday afternoon, and multiple accounts say he crossed back over the border to Mexico and is on his way home to Honduras. Details on the incident, and some questions it raises:

  • Can't stop him: The nonprofit group that runs the facility explains why the teen could walk away: "As a licensed child care center, if a child attempts to leave any of our facilities, we cannot restrain them," says Southwest Key Programs, which operates about two dozen such facilities in Texas, California, and Arizona, reports CNN. "We are not a detention center. We talk to them and try to get them to stay. If they leave the property, we call law enforcement."

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