Bethany Carson, an immigration researcher and organizer with Grassroots Leadership, an advocacy organization critical of "mass incarceration" and deportation, spoke to two migrants at Port Isabel Saturday. She said they’re being told they’re in a transitory state — “not detained in that place anymore,” but not yet moved to a church or family detention center with their children.
“They're treating them like they're processed out of the facility already but they're still there,” Carson said. “They're still locked up. They're still detained. They can't leave. So all they've done is take away their communication and all of the other things that, according to detention standards, they have rights to.”
In a statement Monday, ICE spokesperson Carl Rusnok said federal agencies are "working tirelessly to reunite parents and children within the court ordered timeline."
"In order to facilitate more efficient reunification of family units going forward, ICE has leveraged additional resources to enhance processing capacity for adults/parents held" at Port Isabel, Rusnok said. Most children brought to the facility are "reunified with their parents within a few hours of their arrival.”