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US Watchdog Denied Access to Migrant Camp Near US-Mexico Border

© East News / Eduardo Verdugo/AP/MXEV115Immigrants walk along the rail tracks after getting off a train during their journey toward the US-Mexico border in Ixtepec, southern Mexico
Immigrants walk along the rail tracks after getting off a train during their journey toward the US-Mexico border in Ixtepec, southern Mexico - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Trump administration is preventing rights groups and media from accessing tents where immigrant children are being holed up on the Texas-Mexico border under in scorching heat, Border Network for Human Rights Executive Director Fernando Garcia told Sputnik.

"We are trying to gain access but the administration is being so obscure and there’s a lack of transparency on this," Garcia said on Tuesday. "It doesn’t matter what kind of tents you have out there. This is 107-104 degrees [Fahrenheit] out there in the desert [and] having children in tents like that is unthinkable. Unfortunately, we don’t know what the conditions are because the government hasn’t allowed press and human rights organizations to go inside."

In this April 29, 2018 file photo, a member of the Central American migrant caravan, holding a child, looks through the border wall toward a group of people gathered on the U.S. side, as he stands on the beach where the border wall ends in the ocean, in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, April 29, 2018 - Sputnik International
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The Trump administration, Garcia added, fabricated the crisis on the US-Mexico border in order to use the policy as a tradeoff to advance its immigration agenda to build a wall, tighten immigration policy, and enhance border security.

Trump’s policy, however, has sparked a huge backlash from members of both major US political parties, the rights group executive director said.

The tent camp in Tornillo, where children are being held after they are separated from their parents because of prosecution, is next to the international bridge to Mexico named after Marcelino Serna, an undocumented immigrant who became the most decorated soldier from Texas in World War I.

A migrant father and child rest outside the El Chaparral port of entry building at the US-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico - Sputnik International
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Congressman Will Hurd, who represents the district where the tent camp is located, told CNN in an interview on Monday that the sites contain boys between the ages of 16 and 17 who were apprehended by US immigration enforcement as unaccompanied minors.

Sputnik reached out to US Health and Human Services to confirm the ages and status of children in the Texas tent camp but did not receive a response.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement on Monday said undocumented immigrant children must not be traumatized by being separated from their parents and family unity must be preserved.

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The White House has said that authorities are separating children from undocumented immigrant parents in accordance with the laws of the United States, which could be amended quickly if Democrats stopped obstructing the process.

In April, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions unveiled a "zero tolerance" immigration policy that entails separating families.

Adults crossing the border illegally are detained and children sent to facilities run by US Health and Human Services. Some 2,000 immigrant children were separated from their parents during a six-week period through the end of May.

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