Go to WRC in the News library
WRC in the News

NGOs Shocked at U.S. ‘Horrendous’ Response to Migrant Surge

The thing that struck Texas Rep. August Pfluger on his first visit to an immigration intake center along the border was the look in the young migrants’ eyes.

“You see the look in their eyes and it’s just—I can’t even hardly describe the feeling that you get that they’ve just gone through something horrendous,” Pfluger said in an interview Tuesday, a day after touring the facility in El Paso, Texas that’s crowded with over 1,000 migrants, already at capacity.

As record numbers of children from Central America continue to arrive daily at the U.S.-Mexico border without their parents, troubling details of their journeys and the conditions they’re met with at Homeland Security facilities are emerging, setting up a crisis for the new Biden administration that’s gathering criticism from both sides of the aisle.

“A lot of kids were in limbo in northern Mexico already,” said Leah Chavla, a senior policy adviser for the Women’s Refugee Commission’s migrant rights and justice program. “There’s a lot of people the last administration really left in danger, and it’s accelerated very quickly.”

In addition to The Daily Beast, this article also appeared in Daily Magazine and Yahoo News.