Report From Nogales

Below is an update on some efforts in the southern Arizona religious/humanitarian community to gain access to the Nogales Border Patrol facility to provide aid to the children there. Below that is a CNN report that seems pretty “fair and balanced.”
Attached is a letter to the White House from Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva.

I visited the site of the warehousing of the children in Nogales today… There were some media there hoping for a photo or a press conference, but no one is being allowed in. What I was able to see is essentially the same as the report from CNN. A gate, a lot of trucks going in an out, a large warehouse-type facility within the perimeter of the Border Patrol station. I did not see any “FEMA trailers left over from Katrina” anywhere and suspect that is a right-wing rumor based on the hysterical reporting from the sites mentioned below… I’ve seen lots of those trailers dumped on roadsides in Louisiana. I seriously doubt that any of them would be worth moving to Arizona. There is a lot of warehouse space in Nogales, Arizona, so I imagine if the government needs more, they could find it. Making it liveable for the people being housed there might take some time. And for what it’s worth, to the best of my knowledge, unaccompanied minors have never been quickly deported from the US. The law requires that they be treated as refugees, that they be reunited with parents if parents can be located. The large numbers of people coming now will take some time to process.

And, the right-wing media (Townhall and Breitbart and FOX) now report that some border patrol officers have been fired or threatened with firing for releasing pictures from inside the Texas detention facilities to the media… See:

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/06/06/exclusive-illegal-children-sleeping-in-cages-as-arizona-border-patrol-resources-continue-to-be-overwhelmed-n1848469

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/06/09/nogales-border-patrol-station-cracks-down-on-agents-threatens-firings-over-leaked-unaccompanied-children-photos-n1849201?utm_source=TopBreakingNewsCarousel&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=BreakingNewsCarousel

AND FOX: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2014/06/09/leaked-photos-show-undocumented-immigrants-held-in-alarming-conditions/

_____________
Molly—thanks for this article. The media coverage about the children being housed in Nogales is confusing and sometimes confounding. The facts as I know it:

1) Fr. Sean Carroll, executive director of Kino Border Initiative, a key organization in humanitarian efforts at the border, was refused access to the warehouse facility in Nogales, AZ. on Thursday, Friday, and throughout the weekend. He contacted Border Patrol officials, FEMA, and others about what KBI and other humanitarian groups can do to alleviate the situation. No response.
2) Today, Monday, he made contact with Rev. David Meyers of FEMA and a conference call has been set up for Tuesday, June 10, to set up a protocol for providing aid to the children.
3) Journalists have not been allowed into the building (a warehouse), but have seen children from ages 1-18 coming out of the compound after meals. Older children have younger toddlers and a few infants in tow.
4) The Samaritans and other groups are gathering clothes, toys, games, for the kids.
5) The State agencies are being told that this is a federal matter, and so they are also not being allowed into the warehouse to see what is going on. Exception: a few State legislators did see where the children eat, but not where they sleep. One said it is a “sad situation.” FEMA, HHS and Homeland Security are the chief players in this drama.
6) I will be in Nogales, Sonora, tomorrow working at el comedor, the shelter for recently deported migrants. I plan to drive over to the warehouse in Arizona and see for myself what is going on. Of course, I don’t expect to be allowed in, but I want to check it out.
7) June 10 there will be the monthly vigil for Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, the 17 year old that was shot and killed by Border Patrol in 2012. A lot of Americans will be there to memorialize this young man as well as protest present US immigration policies.
8) No one seems to know what the plan is for these children. There are attempts to reunite them with families here in the US and back in their home country. The general consensus is that this situation is not going to go away. More children and women will be arriving in large numbers.

__________________________________

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/08/us/arizona-dhs-undocumented-children-moved/

About belenchacon

Belen is a recent journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge. She's covered a myriad of topics including: women in underserved communities, health, education equality, consumer issues, politics, career and job search. Belen is currently looking for any freelance or permanent writing opportunities. Follow her @journobelen.

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