Under President Donald J Trump‘s zero-tolerance immigration policy, the unprecedented influx of children entering the U.S government’s care has led to the creation of “tender age” shelters to house those separated from their parents.

According to recent reports, at least three government-run shelters were built to care for migrant children under the age of 13. The shelters come as a matter of necessity as more than 2,400 children under the age of 12 are now in federal custody as unaccompanied minors according to recent estimates.

The president signed an executive order on Tuesday ending the separation of families. The order declares that children can now remain with their parents while the parents await criminal prosecution in detention.

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This still leaves uncertainty for the thousands of children already separated from their families. According to a Health and Human Services official, these children will not be immediately reunited with their parents while the adults remain in custody during their immigration proceedings.


In the meantime, these tender age shelters, located in Southern Texas’ Brownsville, Combes and Raymondville, have come under fire for the harmful longterm effects they may pose to children. 

When visiting the shelters in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, doctors and lawyers observed that the children — who have no idea where their parents are — were hysterical, crying and acting out.

The government still plans to open a fourth shelter in Houston.

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