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HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. government will expand its tent shelter for immigrant minors crossing the southwest border to 3,600 beds and keep it open through the end of this year, an agency spokesman said Tuesday.
The facility at Tornillo, Texas, which originally opened with a 360-bed capacity for 30 days, is being expanded based on how many children are in the care of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, agency spokesman Kenneth Wolfe said in a statement.
The article goes on to state the following:
Wolfe said the announced expansion was not due to the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy, which led to the separations of more than 2,500 children from their parents. Three months after enforcement of the policy officially ended, more than 400 children remain in government care, away from their parents, many of whom were deported.
Those previous family separations “are not driving this need,” Wolfe said. He said 1,400 of the beds will be placed “on reserve status.”
The U.S. Border Patrol said it apprehended nearly 4,000 children unaccompanied by an adult at the southwest border in July, the most recent month for which figures are available. That represented a decrease from May and June, but border crossings historically tend to rise as the summer heat gives way to cooler temperatures in fall.
In Texas, the state with the longest segment of the U.S.-Mexico border, 5,168 children were being held in government facilities in early August, about 500 children short of capacity, according to figures released by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
The Tornillo “tent city” for migrant children is expanding from its original 360-bed capacity to 3,800. The Texas detention camp was planned to close in July but now the government says it will stay open through 2018. pic.twitter.com/Kt0tIjKqwr
— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 11, 2018
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