THE IMMIGRANT CHILD DETENTION CENTERS, AND THE HISTORY LEADING UP TO THEM HOLLOMAN AFB TO HOUSE AS MANY AS 700 IMMIGRANT CHILDREN
by Dr. Kathleen O’Malley
At our Feb. 10 PDACNM meeting, Dr. Kathleen O’Malley gave a compelling but disturbing talk on the plight of Mexican and Latin American refugees’ efforts to escape the violence in their native countries by attempting to enter the US. An adult entering the US is treated now under criminal law, with the first offense a misdemeanor, and the second offense a felony, punishable by prison time.
In particular, she is now working with the detained, unaccompanied child refugees, who are caught in a limbo between being returned to their country of origin, and hope of finding a relative/sponsor/permanent home in America. The process is slow, and has the potential for error.
Dr. O’Malley has spent several years traveling to the border consulting with authorities, counseling refugees and advocating for their rights. She tries to bring their stories to the attention of the American public and to our US Representatives and Senators. Senator Heinrich’s office has recently reached out to her and solicited her insights as to what is happening with these people. Kathleen asks that we get in touch with our US Representatives and Senators and bring our concerns to their attention. The letter below, sent to HHS and DOD leaders will give you some talking points.