Jacob Soboroff Profile picture
Jun 13, 2018 18 tweets 9 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I’m a part of the first group of journalists to go into the shelter for detained child migrants in Brownsville Texas since the zero tolerance separation policy was announced. 1000+ boys here.

Going in right now.

More tonight w @chrislhayes on @allinwithchris @MSNBC. #inners
Just finished tour, don’t even know where to start.

One of the first things you notice when you walk into the shelter — no joke — a mural of Trump with the quote “sometimes losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”

Presidential murals everywhere. But that one is 1st.
This shelter, Casa Padre, is the largest licensed childcare facility of its kind in the country. Nearly 1,500 boys 10-17 in here now. They’re supposed to sleep four to room. Nearly every room has 5. They’ve received a variance from the state because of overcrowding.
Officials here said they’ve never had an MS-13 member here, ever.
Moments after we walked in a shelter employee asked us to smile at hundreds of detained migrant kids in line for a meal because “they feel like animals in a cage being looked at.”
Kids here get only two hours a day to be outside in fresh air.

One hour of structured time.

One hour of free time.

The rest of the day is spent inside a former Wal Mart.
Instructions to employees in the lobby of the shelter if you encounter media:

1) “Immediatelt notify PD,” or the police department.

2) Call the shelter communications director.

In that order.

For the record, nobody called cops on us. We were invited by HHS and the shelter.
This mega-shelter is run by trained staff — a nonprofit.

I believe the worker looking after these kids who said she’d like to see a day when they don’t have to do this.

But things are moving in the wrong direction — capacity is 1497 and tonight 1469 boys will sleep here.
I have been inside a federal prison and county jails.

This place is called a shelter but these kids are incarcerated.

No cells and no cages, and they get to go to classes about American history and watch Moana, but they’re in custody.

Coming up on @allinwithchris next.
Something I just told @chrislhayes: this place is a licensed child care facility with trained staff. There are 26 operated by the same nonprofit, @SouthwestKey.

Its president told me that potential new tent cities that will be on federal property *don’t* have to be licensed.
Starting to get some handout photos from our tour with @HHSGov.

Here’s the Trump mural I mentioned to @chrislhayes inside the shelter for incarcerated child migrants.

Also their beds and the towels they shower with.
Here are some photos of the boys in the cafeteria.

This is not a school cafeteria.

Hundreds called to eat at a time on rotating shifts.

When I told @chrislhayes it felt like a prison or jail, I was thinking about this.
One final thing that stuck out: this former WalMart is 250,000 square feet.

The boys have under *40* square feet of living space each.

Lights go out in there at 9PM every night.

Will have more tomorrow on @TODAYshow, @Morning_Joe & @MSNBC.

Thanks for sharing this story.
I agree with @lawrence.

We likely wouldn’t have had a shot at getting inside Casa Padre tonight had @SenJeffMerkley not tried and been turned away before us.

Here’s my conversation with them both tonight. msnbc.com/the-last-word/…
Forgot to mention last night: folks at the shelter have a weekly policy call with feds about changes that will affect the shelter.

They say they weren’t given a heads up about Trump/Sessions zero tolerance separation policy that’s led to overcrowding. nbcnews.com/news/us-news/s…
Just confirmed with @ckubeNBC: @HHSGov has selected Tornillo Land Port of Entry near El Paso as the first temporary shelter location.

It will have 450 beds.

Kids will sleep in tents.
It was pointed out to me that temperatures are already in the triple-digits in Tornillo, Texas — where the Trump administration will build its first tent city for migrant kids.

Here’s our exclusive @NBCNews report — with @ckubeNBC and @JuliaEAinsley. nbcnews.com/politics/immig…
Since we toured the Brownsville border shelter Trump, Sessions and Sanders have all lied about what’s happening there.

Overcrowding is a crisis manufactured by Trump, a direct result of new policy to prosecute 100% of people who enter the US illegally, which separates families.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Jacob Soboroff

Jacob Soboroff Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @jacobsoboroff

Oct 2, 2018
This is America.

ICE's Adelanto Processing Center in California -- where I've been twice to meet a separated father for @chrislhayes & @allinwithchris -- had "nooses in detainee cells," "improper and overly restrictive segregation," and "untimely and inadequate" medical care.
The words of an Adelanto detainee:

"I’ve seen a few attempted suicides using the braided sheets by the vents and then the guards laugh at them and call them ‘suicide failures’ once they are back from medical."
On my first trip to Adelanto to meet separated father Ascención, who said he was coerced into giving up his son, ICE didn't let me in despite knowing I was coming.

He wrote me this letter which his lawyers brought out:

"I am going crazy. I am in an inhumane situation."
Read 6 tweets
Aug 15, 2018
Going in @ICEgov detention center in SoCal to meet still-separated dad Ascencion who signed form saying he didn’t want to be reunited with his 15 year old son — says he didn’t know what he was signing.

I’m with his lawyers from @ImmDef.

Not sure if ICE will let me meet him.
No luck.

We were met by these agents from ICE and Geo Group, private prison that runs Adelanto.

Guy on left said they were expecting me but I couldn’t get in to see Ascencion despite advance notice.

Waited three hours while attorneys went in.

ICE says maybe next week.
Ascencion sent out this letter for me to read:

They‘re deporting me without me knowing. The government is treating me very badly. I‘m being ignored.

The separation is affecting me a lot. I don’t know that I will ever forget this. I am going crazy. I am in an inhumane situation.
Read 5 tweets
Aug 3, 2018
NEW: Trump administration says in order to reunite remaining 572 separated kids @ACLU — *not* government which separated them — should be responsible for:

- Establishing contact
- Determining desire to be reunified & written confirmation
- Attorney consultation
- Data gathering
NEW: ACLU tells me “the administration is sitting on information that will allow the parties to find these parents."

572 kids still separated.

Latest, with @JuliaEAinsley & @erikjhortiz. nbcnews.com/storyline/immi…
After the Trump administration suggested @ACLU should reunite remaining 572 separated kids, @mitchellreports nailed it:

"The last time I looked we did not vote for the ACLU to be running the government or DHS or anything else in this country. I think we voted for Donald Trump."
Read 4 tweets
Jul 27, 2018
I’m in San Diego. Going into court to watch Trump administration and @ACLU meet a day after the reunification deadline.

DHS says all “eligible” parents and children are reunified but 711 kids of 2,551 were “ineligible.”

DHS didn’t commit to reuniting any of that group in US.
I’m out of court.

Judge said next step must be finding 431 “missing parents” already deported and 52 released into the US.

He‘ll soon issue an order on that and a ruling on potential 7-day stay on deportations for 1,000 (!) reunited families with executable removal orders.
The @ACLU also said in court the judge should block deportations of 120 parents who may have mistakenly waived reunification, calling it "torturous to have a parent thinking" they gave away their child in error.

The latest, with @JuliaEAinsley. nbcnews.com/politics/immig…
Read 4 tweets
Jul 26, 2018
BREAKING: Trump administration releases new numbers on day of court ordered deadline to reunite 2,551 migrant kids separated from parents at border.

They say 711 children STILL separated, *not eligible* for reunification.

Won't say whether they intend to try to reunite them.
Last month we all asked “where are the toddlers and girls?”

Tonight we should all be asking about 711 kids the government says are “ineligible” for reunification.

Deadline has passed.

After taken them, will Trump and company even *try* to reunite them all?

We just don’t know.
To be super clear: just over half of separated kids have been reunited by the deadline to reunite them all.

The administration is declaring victory, saying zero eligible are left in ICE custody.

That ignores 711 other kids.

Latest, with @JuliaEAinsley. nbcnews.com/politics/immig…
Read 4 tweets
Jul 19, 2018
Expecting update today from Trump administration on status of family reunifications.

Waiting on new numbers of how many kids are still separated.

Last count: 2,551.

Hoping, too, for *any* info on how many of their parents already deported.

As @maddow says, watch this space.
BREAKING: In court filing, Trump administration says 719 parents of the 2,551 still-separated children have a "final order of removal," meaning they could be immediately deported after reunification.

@LindsayTozzzz of @ImmDef just told me “that's a pretty horrifying statistic."
NEW: 7 days until migrant family reunification deadline.

Government says only 14% of kids have been reunited.

1/3 of parents could be deported right after reunification.

Latest, with @JuliaEAinsley.

We're coming up on @allinwithchris. #inners nbcnews.com/storyline/immi…
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!