Politician can’t meet with detainees due to pox outbreak
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The Latest on separation of immigrant children from their parents (all times local):
A U.S. congressman says he was turned away from trying to meet with detainees from the southern border crisis because of a chicken pox outbreak at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington.
The Tacoma News Tribune reports that U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, a Democrat, went to the prison Saturday after hearing that a number of migrants who were separated from their children after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border were transferred there from another federal prison in SeaTac.
Kilmer said he had official tours set up at both facilities but that it was canceled due to protest-related safety concerns.
And when the congressman tried to visit three detainees during the regularly scheduled visiting hours on Saturday, he was told that they were all quarantined due to chicken pox exposure.
A Texas charitable organization says about 30 immigrant parents separated from their children after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border have been freed into its care, but they don’t know where their kids are or when they might see them again despite government assurances that family reunification would be well organized.
The released parents arrived Sunday at Annunciation House in El Paso.
The release is believed to be the first, large one of its kind since President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that preserved a “zero-tolerance” policy for entering the country illegally but ended the practice of separating immigrant parents and children.
Annunciation House Director Ruben Garcia says the parents were brought by bus after federal authorities withdrew criminal charges.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement offered no immediate comment.