Glorieta Camps is a private Christian faith-based summer camp, with over 100 buildings on 2,400 acres in New Mexico. Ordinarily, it boasts over 2,000 beds, and rents itself out to various groups for church, school, or corporate retreats. But it is currently ramping up to house as many as 2,400 unaccompanied migrant children on behalf of the White House and U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
The last few years have seen a surge in children and families arriving to cross the U.S.-Mexican border, most refugees seeking asylum. The influx of unaccompanied minors has overwhelmed the resources in place to handle them, resulting in unsuitable facilities, like a San Diego convention center, being converted to house them. Due to mismanagement, many have also been housed like criminals. For instance, in late March, journalists were allowed to tour a Texas detention facility for migrant children. More than 4,000 people were crowded into a tent structure meant for 250 and surrounded by barbed wire.
Seeking safer and more suitable housing sites, the White House asked Glorieta Camps to volunteer their facility. It did. Scrambling to get volunteers and donations in place, the Camps were ready to receive children by Thursday, April 1. But this is merely a stopgap. Locked into its own schedule, Glorieta Camps is only willing to house these children for two months before it will return to its usual business–at which point the children will need a new place to stay.
According to a spokesman for New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich, the Health and Human Services Department doesn’t have plans to open any new shelters in New Mexico at this time, but it seems like a very necessary action. We have not yet left the days of our border policies putting children in cages, and that can’t be ignored or swept under the rug.