For all the political posturing over Syrian refugees, what is shaping to be a bonafide crisis unfolding before our very eyes in our own backyards: the feds warning Texas officials, certain counties in particular, that there are hundreds of thousands of undocumented, unaccompanied children coming into Texas. There’s a scramble for places to put them all.
Marfa Public Radio’s Lorne Matalon has been reporting this week from El Salvador, where most of these kids appear to be coming from. What’s far from clear is where those kids will wind up. The Defense Department has been asked to ready military bases to house unaccompanied children, just as Lackland Air Force Base was pressed into action last summer.
Dylan Baddour of the Houston Chronicle is following the story. About a thousand times as many kids have
“People suggested that the traffickers identified new routes, they have to leave old ones behind when they’re fortified by law enforcements,” he says. Baddour says most places along the border have seen numbers of unaccompanied children double or triple since last year but some points in Arizona have shown a ten-fold increase.
Baddour says officials haven’t released the locations of the shelters they plan to open, because of security concerns for the children who will be staying there. But officials in Rockwell and Ellis Counties announced via press releases that the federal government has notified that some private facilities in their counties would be adapted to house children for “possibly weeks, up to a month.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.