Responding to reports that the Department of Health and Human Services will be shutting down the facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, Denise Bell, the Researcher for Refugee and Migrant Rights at Amnesty International USA said:
“The closure of the Carrizo Springs facility makes clear the crisis of the government’s own making: these temporary emergency facilities arose because of the government’s deliberate policy to punish children, resulting in the prolonged and indefinite detention of thousands of children.
“Temporary emergency shelters are never a home for children, and Carrizo and other detention facilities like it only demonstrate that these disastrous policies only endanger children, and are never, ever, in the best interests of the child. All children have a right to be safe and secure with their families and loved ones: the government’s policies of detaining children seeking safety are unnecessarily cruel and shameful.”
Amnesty International USA calls for the Trump Administration to close the other temporary emergency facility at Homestead and release children immediately to appropriate sponsors. AIUSA also calls for the Administration to ensure that its policies and practices regarding the care of unaccompanied children conform to the best interests of the child standard, as outlined in Flores agreement and in international law, no matter the type or location of the facility.
Amnesty International USA visited the Carrizo Springs facility on July 20, 2019. Amnesty International USA’s executive director, Margaret Huang will be testifying on the conditions she witnessed at the facility, as well as the Homestead and Tornillo detention facilities before the Subcommittee on Labor/HHS/Education of the House Appropriations Committee, on Wednesday, July 23 at 10AM EST.
On July 17, 2019, Amnesty USA published a new report detailing conditions at the Homestead facility, which outlines how children at Homestead are detained for extended periods of time and given inadequate care.