As the number of migrant children detained by the US government grows to nearly 2,000 minors, Trump administration officials defended the policy of separating children from their parents and authorities announced plans to house several hundred juveniles in a temporary tent shelter near El Paso, Texas.
Organizers said that location is less that a mile from the Tornillo port of entry and those planning to attend to bringing plenty of water and sunscreen.
The Trump administration has been widely attack for Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "zero tolerance" policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution. U.S. Customs and Border Protection used tents to house an influx of immigrants in 2014 and at the end of the Obama administration.
The Tornillo site will take in 360 children in the coming days and expand from there, according to the department spokesperson.
The policy and the uptick in border arrests has resulted in a surge in the amount of migrant children in custody - HHS told The Washington Post on Thursday it was holding 11,432 migrant children in custody, up from the 8,886 it was holding in April.
The details of the shelter are odd, and have been criticized by many on social media as seeming like they belong to a detention center rather than an institution meant to care for children.
United States separates 2000 children from parents at Mexico border
In some cases, parents appear to have been told their children were being taken away to the toilet only for them to disappear. Samuel Rodriguez, who delivered a prayer at Trump's inauguration, signed a letter calling the practice "horrible".
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Temperatures in the area have hovered around 100 degrees; the department spokesperson said the tents will be air-conditioned.
"A phone call or two a day like you're incarcerated, everything is dictated on a schedule".
The shelter would not interfere with operations at the border crossing, Wolfe added. But over the last month, the number of boys housed there has increased from around 1,200 to 1,500. Jeff Merkley of OR attempting to visit the former Walmart building in Brownsville.
After Merkley's video gained traction online, Walmart released a statement saying they were deeply disturbed about the use of their former store.
Newsweek previously reported that Casa Padre was one of 16 shelters run by Southwest that was cited by Texas inspectors for health violations.