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Jacob Soboroff
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 on .
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
Replying to @jacobsoboroff
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.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
Replying to @jacobsoboroff
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.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
Replying to @jacobsoboroff
Officials here said they’ve never had an MS-13 member here, ever.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
Replying to @jacobsoboroff
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.”
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
Replying to @jacobsoboroff
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.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
Replying to @jacobsoboroff
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.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
Replying to @jacobsoboroff
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.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
Replying to @allinwithchris
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 next.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
Something I just told : this place is a licensed child care facility with trained staff. There are 26 operated by the same nonprofit, . Its president told me that potential new tent cities that will be on federal property *don’t* have to be licensed.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
Replying to @HHSGov @chrislhayes
Starting to get some handout photos from our tour with . Here’s the Trump mural I mentioned to inside the shelter for incarcerated child migrants. Also their beds and the towels they shower with.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
Replying to @chrislhayes
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 it felt like a prison or jail, I was thinking about this.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
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 , & . Thanks for sharing this story.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 13
I agree with . We likely wouldn’t have had a shot at getting inside Casa Padre tonight had not tried and been turned away before us. Here’s my conversation with them both tonight.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 14
Replying to @jacobsoboroff
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.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 14
Replying to @ckubeNBC @HHSGov
Just confirmed with : 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.
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 14
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 report — with and .
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Jacob Soboroff Jun 15
Replying to @jacobsoboroff
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.
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