If you’ve been following the national news over the past week or so, you’ve probably heard about the plight of the hundreds of undocumented immigrant children who have been taken into custody at the border. These kids have endured a perilous journey just to make it to the U.S., usually without any adult supervision at all. As increasing numbers of children attempt the journey, the government has struggled to determine where to house them. Many experts are calling the current situation a humanitarian crisis. The latest word is that they might be coming to Baltimore.
Not everyone thinks that that’s a great idea. The facility being considered is the former Social Security building, a cold bureaucratic behemoth if I’ve ever seen one. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake isn’t sure it’s a good solution. “You know, God forbid, my child were separated from me, I would want them to be at the best possible facility and I don’t know if the Social Security Administration is that facility,” she told a DC-area TV station.
U.S. law mandates that children caught trying to cross the border illegally be turned over to the Department of Health & Human Services within 3 days. The idea is that they’ll then be reunited with family members living in the United States. But as many as 90,000 child immigrants are expected to be apprehended this year, many who are fleeing violence in their home countries, and the Border Patrol is struggling to find adequate housing for them.