How the detention center crisis blew up: timeline

2009 – 2012 and later. Unaccompanied minors apprehended at border in 2005 at about 5,000 a year, picks up in 2011 and is 10,000 in 2012. Compare with month of October 2018 — 5,000 unaccompanied minors were apprehended in and May 2019 12,000 were apprehended.

Apprehended and detained unaccompanied minors are the responsibility of Office of Refugee Resettlement of Health and Human Services. Per its website, “HHS is legally required to provide care for all children until they are released to a suitable sponsor, almost always a parent or close relative, while they await immigration proceedings.”

November 6, 2018 Open letter in New York Review of Books condemning “concentration camps for kids.”

Oct 2018 – May, 2019. Apprehensions along southern border were in October 2018, 93,000 in March 2019, and 133,000 in May 2019. Total apprehensions Oct 2018 – May 2019 were 594,000. This is almost double the 251,000 for the same period one year before. Apprehensions of unaccompanied minors grows from Oct 2018, 5,000, to May 2019, 12,000. The Oct. through May total for unaccompanied minors was 56,000, ten times the total annual numbers ten years ago.

March 27, 2019. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan said “CBP is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis all along our Southwest Border.” Nationwide, CBP had more than 12,000 migrants in custody. The agency considers 4,000 to be a high number of migrants in custody and 6,000 to be at a crisis level. More than 12,000 migrants in custody is unprecedented.

May 29, 2019. “We are in full-blown emergency and I cannot say this stronger, the system is broken,” acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders told reporters.”

June 6, 2019. Trump administration curtails education and legal services at detention centers for children. “Approximately 13,200 minors [both unaccompanied and with an adult] are currently being held in federally contracted shelters as of June 2, an HHS spokesperson told NPR.”

June 17, 2019. On June 17, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, posted an Instagram live video discussing the detention camps along the southern US border as “concentration camps” in which she used the phrase “Never Again.”

June 24, 2019 Holocaust Museum states, “The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum unequivocally rejects efforts to create analogies between the Holocaust and other events, whether historical or contemporary.”

July 1, 2019. Open letter published in New York Review of Books defending Ocasio-Cortez’s use of the term.

July 1, 2019. Pro Publica reports that “The three-year-old [Facebook] group, which has roughly 9,500 members, shared derogatory comments about Latina lawmakers who plan to visit a controversial Texas detention facility on Monday, calling them “scum buckets” and “hoes.”

July 1, 2019. More than a dozen U.S. House members visited migrant detention centers in Texas on Monday on the heels of a report revealing current and former Border Patrol agents joking on Facebook about throwing burritos at the visiting officials.

2 thoughts on “How the detention center crisis blew up: timeline”

  1. please tell people what they can do to voice their opposition to these centers.

    If the kids were unaccompanied minors how is the US trying to get them home to their parents? Was the goal to have these kids come to the US to have them go to relatives in the US?

    They can’t stay in detention centers?

    What is the plan to FIX THIS?

  2. Anne,

    Washington’s inability to address immigration in productive way results in crises that should shame both political parties.

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