Jun 4, 2019

Migrant children waited hours in vans to be reunited with families: Report

Families at Paso Del Norte in Mexico at the southern border. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty Images

Thirty-seven migrant children were left in two vans overnight as they waited to be reunited with their families at Port Isabel Detention Center, Texas, last July, NBC News reported on Monday.

What they're saying: Andrew Carter, the BCFS Heath and Human Services director charged with transporting the children, aged 5–12, said in an email they'd spent 8 hours without being processed, per NBC. They were twice taken to the center and then back to the van; first because of a paperwork issue and then "because it was too cold in the facility and they were still not ready to be processed," Carter said, according to NBC.

Details: The first child was reunited with their family 11 hours after arriving to be processed on July 15, according to the report. "Not until 39 hours later — after two nights in a van — did the last child step out of a van to be reunited," NBC says. "Most spent at least 23 hours in the vehicles."

  • Carter's emails to company president and CEO Kevin Dinnin led to Health and Human Services reps phoning Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in the middle of the night to try to resolve the situation, according to the outlet, citing a BCFS rep and a former HHS official with knowledge of the incident.
"DHS was clearly not ready to deal with the separations and did not take steps necessary to ensure a speedy reunification with their parents."
— Unnamed official to NBC news

The big picture: An ICE spokesperson told the news outlet the children's experience was "unusual."

  • "Since then, no child has spent more than a few hours waiting to be reunited with their parents," the spokesperson said.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has struggled to provide shelter and find homes for a record number of migrant children in its custody. Authorities have stopped almost 18,000 unaccompanied migrant children illegally crossing the border in just the 2 months, Axios' Stef Knight notes.

Go deeper

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

While economists predict that today's nonfarm payrolls report will show around 20 million Americans were unemployed in May, it's likely the real number is close to double that.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.

51 mins ago - Sports

How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The NBA's Board of Governors approved Thursday the league's 22-team plan to resume play at Walt Disney World — a plan that also includes tentative dates for both this season and next.

Why it matters: The league's proposed trip to Disney World not only impacts this season but could have a domino effect that impacts seasons in the future — and could permanently change what time of year the NBA plays its games.

Buffalo police officers suspended after shoving elderly man

Photo: Mike Desmond/WBFO via AP

Two Buffalo police officers were suspended without pay Thursday night after video emerged of them violently shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground while clearing a protest in the wake of George Floyd's killing in the city’s Niagara Square, WBFO reports.

The state of play: Before WBFO’s video of the incident went viral, a Buffalo police spokesman issued a statement that said "one person was injured when he tripped and fell."