Civil Rights Groups Concerned By Abrupt Closure Of Nogales Detention Center

By Kate Sheehy
July 21, 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. — Attorneys are concerned by the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to begin closing a facility in Nogales, Ariz., where hundreds of unaccompanied child migrants had been detained. 

The decision comes as a judge issued a court order allowing attorneys from several civil rights organizations to visit 25 Salvadoran children at the Border Patrol facility in Nogales.

Marielena Hincapie is the Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center, one of the groups planning to advise kids. She said the federal government should have warned the court how soon Nogales would close.

“You can’t simply overnight decide to move 900 children from one facility to another without planning ahead, the timing in particular is very concerning,” she said.

Border Patrol facilities like Nogales have been a temporary solution to accommodate a surge of child migrants.

Hincapie said she hopes to reach an agreement with the Department of Justice that will still allow attorneys to meet with the kids in their new locations.

Almost all of the children once located in Nogales have been placed in shelters under the supervision of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.