Abolish ICE - Philly (Their Twitter feed)
held a rally at Rittenhouse Square on 3 October. Many of us have heard
how ICE locks up children and keeps them locked up for extended
The Berks County Residential Center is unusual in that it's for families and detention can be indefinite. It's important to residents of Pennsylvania because it's located in this state. Al Dia reports that:
In 2016, a group of mothers detained at Berks participated in a hunger strike after Jeh Johnson, then Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), claimed that the average length of stay at immigrant family detention centers in the U.S. was 20 days or less. These women contended that some families held at the time at Berks had been there for nearly a year.Of course, the Trump Administration could easily have refused to follow the Obama Administration example.
There have also been instances of inadequate medical attention for children detained at the center. In one example, as reported by AL DÍA in 2016, a mother held at Berks waited three months after requesting a medical evaluation for her 5-year-old daughter before her child was finally seen by a doctor.
The Morning Call says:
Operated by Berks County under a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the federal agency responsible for enforcing immigration law — the center has been under scrutiny by human rights watchdogs who say it needs to shut down. They cite concerns about sexual assault, inadequate health care and the inhumanity of detaining children in what some say are prison-like conditions.
Have our representatives been slacking off? Fortunately, no.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Tom Wolf, who agrees with members of Congress who want to close the center, said Tuesday that the administration has revoked the Berks center’s child care license. That move is the subject of litigation within the state Department of Human Services. But even if it was upheld, the federal government could continue to operate the facility without the license, under a direct contract with Berks County.
Concerning the detention issue generally, The blog Daily Kos has been keeping track of how many days it's been since a judge ordered ICE to reunite children and parents. The period is now 70 days.
136 migrant kids continue to remain separated from parents, according to the most recent numbers from the Trump administration. Of those kids, three are age 5 or under. The parents of 96 kids have already been deported. Of those children, two are age 5 or under.The blog reminds us that the separation crisis is entirely self-made. It was not forced upon the Trump Administration at all. They chose to separate children and parents and is choosing to keep them apart.
More migrant kids, who had been kept in other facilities or with relatives or other adult sponsors, have been moved to a big camp in Tornillo, Texas.