The federal government is quietly expanding its use of shelters to house infants, toddlers and other young asylum-seekers. One Phoenix facility housed 12 children ages 5 and under, Reveal has learned, some as young as 3 months old, all without their mothers.
As part of this expansion, the government has designated three facilities to house newborns and unaccompanied teen mothers. Records obtained by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting indicate a dozen children arrived at Child Crisis Arizona starting in mid-June, after it garnered a $2.4 million contract to house unaccompanied children through January 2022.
The kids, some of whom entered the facility as recently as Thursday and hail from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador and Brazil, are each living in Child Crisis without a parent.
It’s unclear where the children’s parents are located. Child Crisis didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. The Office of Refugee Resettlement told Reveal on Friday that it’s working on a response to our questions about the whereabouts of the children’s parents.