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AP Exclusive: Migrant kids held in US hotels, then expelled

Posted at 4:14 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 22:49:19-04

PHOENIX — The Trump administration is detaining immigrant children as young as 1 in hotels before deporting them to their home countries.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show a private contractor hired by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is taking children to three Hampton Inns in Arizona and Texas under restrictive border policies implemented during the coronavirus pandemic.

The hotels have been used nearly 200 times, while more than 10,000 beds for children sit empty at government shelters.

Lawyers and advocates say the practice exposes children to the risk of trauma. Federal immigration authorities say the contractors caring for the kids are “non-law enforcement staff members trained to work with minors.”