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Guards at Texas children’s migrant center ban pencils, pens & toothbrushes to stop suicide attempts

Guards at one of Texas‘ largest migrant children’s shelters have banned pencils, pens, nail clippers and tooth brushes because desperate kids were using them to try to commit suicide. 

The children at Fort Bliss, Texas, which is just north of El Paso, are so distressed that some require 24 hour care from guards, according to a new damning report from CBS citing unnamed volunteers and workers that shed more light on the worsening border crisis.

There are currently, 1,600 migrant teens at Fort Bliss but it can hold up to 10,000. 

There are widespread complaints about the conditions there, with kids in court documents describing the food as inedible and their living conditions as cramped, with limited access to water.  

Since President Biden took office and loosened the rhetoric on migrants coming to America, the number of dangerous, illegal border crossings have soared. 

At the heart of the problem is a spike in the number of kids being sent alone because their parents think they’ll get a better shot at staying in America if they are caught by Customs and Border Protection. 

But the kids are being put in perilous danger on their journeys and many are suffering huge mental health problems once they are in the care of CBP. 

The children at Fort Bliss, Texas, which is just north of El Paso, are so distressed that some require 24 hour care from guards, according to a new damning report from CBS citing unnamed volunteers and workers that shed more light on the worsening border crisis

This is how total land border crossings have soared in 2021 compared with 2020 and 2019

This is how total land border crossings have soared in 2021 compared with 2020 and 2019 

This is the number of unaccompanied minors who have crossed over the border in 2021 compared with other years

This is the number of unaccompanied minors who have crossed over the border in 2021 compared with other years 

CBS reports that at Fort Bliss, staff were even instructed to remove the metal nose clips in N-95 masks because kids were using them to hurt themselves.

Workers at the site said they were even instructed to remove the metal nose clips from N95 face masks.

The volunteers and workers say the kids are mostly frustrated because of the long periods of time they have to stay at the camp. 

‘There’s very little communicated to these kids about the process and amount of time they’ll be here. 

‘So they live in constant doubt, uncertainty and fear about what’s gonna happen to them,’ one federal volunteer said. 

In May, several boys protested about their conditions inside a tent and another group tried to runaway. 

A court filing on Monday included testimony from some of the children who said they’d been giving rotting food. 

A worker also said they had seen kids having panic attacks so severe that their bodies ‘start to twist’.

‘I have panic attacks and I understand panic attacks. You get shortness of breath, and you kind of feel like, “Oh my God, I’m going to die,’ and everything is sort of doom and gloom. These girls are having it exponentially worse.

Protesters outside the Fort Bliss migrant center which is one of the largest for kids along the border

Protesters outside the Fort Bliss migrant center which is one of the largest for kids along the border

‘Their bodies start to twist. They can’t take it anymore,’ they said. 

The filing was part of an ongoing case involving a team of lawyers who have been tasked with visiting migrant kids’ camps to ensure the government is maintaining living conditions. 

In one testimonial, a 13-year-old girl from Honduras said she had been placed on a suicide watch list while at an emergency shelter at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

The girl, who had spent nearly two months at the facility as of June 4, said she was separated from her father when crossing a river into the United States.

‘The food here is horrible. Yesterday we were given hamburgers but I couldn’t eat it because there was a foul odor coming from the bread… I really only eat popsicles and juice because that is the only food that I can trust,’ she said.

These five little girls from Honduras and Mexico were found by a Texas onion and watermelon farmer last month. They are among the hundreds who have been passed through the system

These five little girls from Honduras and Mexico were found by a Texas onion and watermelon farmer last month. They are among the hundreds who have been passed through the system

A 14 year old Guatemalan girl who was detained at an emergency facility in Houston in April said it was very hot and that she was often thirsty. 

‘She said the girls had to drink expired milk when they ran out of water. She saw eight girls faint because of the heat and the lack of water, she said, and staff took them to a nearby hospital.

A 17-year-old girl from Guatemala detained at Fort Bliss described sleeping in a large white tent with about three hundred girls, on cots stacked on top of each other.

She said it was hard to sleep due to the rattling noise the tent’s metal beams made at night, according to a declaration dated April 28. 

She said it was cold and that dirt came into the tent.

The girl said she had not been able to get information on her case and that she had struggled to get an appointment with a counselor to talk about her depression.

‘A lot of the girls here cry a lot,’ she said. 

‘A lot of them end up having to talk to someone because they have thoughts of cutting themselves.’ 

A 17-year-old teen from Honduras said they slept in a large area in the Dallas convention center, in which they had been told there were 2,600 kids.

‘I feel asphyxiated having so many people around me,” the teen said in a declaration dated March 29.

‘There is no one here I can talk to about my case. There’s also no one here I can talk to when I’m feeling sad. There’s no one here; I just talk to God. It helps me and I cry. It would help if I could have a Bible.’


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