Migrant Child Detention and Family Separation
Migrant Child Detention and Family Separation
Marie Luna and Marijke van Roojen carrying supplies.

Marie Luna and Marijke van Roojen carrying supplies.

by Marie Luna, Director of Congregational Life, Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Appleton, WI

Like many things in the news, every day brings new horrors of what is happening at our border as well as throughout our country. I was called to witness and protest the child detention “tent city” in Tornillo, TX over Christmas, and it was a life changing experience. I saw the worst and best of humanity over the five days that I spent in Tornillo and El Paso, where I ended up helping immigrants who had been dumped at the bus station by ICE with nothing.

The Tornillo detention center opened in June and housed over 6000 children until its close at the beginning of January. We believe that the ongoing pressure of local groups and outraged citizens were the reasons this camp closed, which I believe means we can close them all with enough outrage.

Three months after Donald Trump took office there were less than 3000 migrant youth in government care. Today, the system has 16,000 beds available for migrant children at over 100 different shelters. Our next focus is in Homestead, Florida. The facility costs over a million dollars per day to run and is the first for profit child detention center. Because Homestead is on federal land, they they do not have to follow state’s laws for education or other necessities. These children are experiencing trauma by being separated from their families and it must end.

I ask you to join me in pressuring your representatives to end this horrifying practice, because with enough pressure, we can shut them down. Learn more:

Coalition working to shut down Homestead

Fox Valley Facebook group

Ending Child Detention Resources Sheet

For more information contact midamerica@uua.org.

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