Congressman Grijalva Visits Shelter For Migrant Children In Tucson

By Bridget Dowd, Paige Phelps
Published: Saturday, July 7, 2018 - 2:33pm
Updated: Sunday, July 8, 2018 - 10:55am
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U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva visited the Southwest Key Programs shelter in Tucson Friday. This is where 79 children are being held who were separated from their families at the border.

Grijalva said officials are being secretive about what’s happening inside the shelter, which isn’t helping the situation. He said shelter employees are worried they won’t be able to reunite migrant families within the court-ordered 30 days.

“It’s not hell in there for these children, but it’s not Shangri-La," Grijalva said. "I mean, they’re there involuntarily. Some of them have not seen their parents and as we know now, ICE and Homeland Security is having a heck of a time trying to match these kids up to their parents.”  

Grijalva said the shelter was able to reunite two children last week, but officials have not done a good job of collecting the information necessary to connect families. He added that although the kids are seemingly OK and counseling services are being provided, the experience will still have an effect on them.

“This is very traumatic for these babies not to have had contact maybe up to a month, maybe more, with their parents since they were separated," Grijalva said. "So no amount of kindness and care, regardless, is going to overcome the fact that these kids have been traumatized.”  

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