ICE Agents Left 5-Year-Old Children in a Parked Van for 39 Hours
In July of 2018, 37 detained migrant children boarded vans in Texas so they could be reunited with their parents at the Port Isobel Detention Center. But when they reached the Immigration and Customs Enforcement–run detention facility, they had to wait. And wait. It took 39 hours and two nights spent sleeping in vans for the last child to be processed and reunited with their family, with most of the 5- to 12-year-olds waiting at least 23 hours in the center's parking lot.
At 10:30 p.m. local time Sunday, July 15, 2018, Andrew Carter, the BCFS regional director responsible for the children, e-mailed Kevin Dinnin, the company's president and CEO, to alert him to the fact that the 37 children had been waiting for eight hours and not a single one had been processed for reunification.
"The children were initially taken into the facility, but were then returned to the van as the facility was still working on paperwork," explained Carter. "The children were brought back in later in the evening, but returned to the vans because it was too cold in the facility and they were still not ready to be processed in."