HOUSTON - The fight against using a facility in East Downtown to house migrant and undocumented youth continues.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is one of the many leaders who is taking a stand by urging the federal government to abandon its plans to open a migrant detention center in Houston.
“Today, I call upon the federal government as a senior member of the Department of the Homeland security committee, to completely abandon this particular project here in Houston, that would be open for separated children and as well unaccompanied minors,” said Lee.
This comes just days after Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner expressed his disapproval of the project.
“This morally bankrupt policy can have no footprint in our beloved city, and Houstonians of all walks of life must stand tall in opposition of this endeavor,” said Turner.
The Congresswoman instead wants the government to create an inventory of all unaccompanied children and of those separated from their families and to declare them as refugees which would nullify the ‘zero-tolerance’ policy.
“Once you do the refugee status, the zero tolerance is conflicted because zero tolerance means you are declared a criminal misdemeanor illegal entry into the united states of America,” said Lee.
Community leaders and activists continue to voice their concern based on those heartbreaking images coming from the border.
“We don't really know what the consequences for these children are going to be in the long run, if they are deprived of their liberty in a very traumatic experience, at the end of the day we know that's not the value of our nation and we want to make sure we express that and we stand adamantly against any child being detained for a decision they didn't get to make themselves,” said Cesar Espinosa of FIEL Houston.
“Let us pray for unity and for the word that I've used; non-partisan actions to make a difference for these families that are desperate for relief,” Lee added.
Since Trumps’s signature to stop the separation of families, the decision on whether or not to use the East Downtown facility remains unknown, for now.