US government uses several clandestine shelters to detain immigrant children

Saturday, May 18, 2019
The logo for Reveal, which includes the word 'Reveal' in white against a black background.

The federal government is relying on secret shelters to hold unaccompanied minors, in possible violation of the long-standing rules for the care of immigrant children, a Reveal investigation has found.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement, the government agency that cares for unaccompanied minors, has never made the shelters’ existence public or even disclosed them to the minors’ own attorneys in a landmark class-action case.

It remains unclear how many total sites are under operation, but there are at least five in Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia, holding at least 16 boys and girls for the refugee agency, some as young as 9 years old.

Minors being held at the clandestine facilities initially were placed at known shelters around the country but later were transferred to these off-the-books facilities that specialize in providing for youth with mental health and behavioral challenges.

...