Two families arrested as part of the Trump administration’s announced nationwide immigration strikes are being held at the Berks County detention center in Pennsylvania.
One had been living in Philadelphia, the other is from Los Angeles, according to migrant advocates and a lawyer who works closely with families at the lock-up in Leesport. The facility is owned by the county and operated through an agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
President Donald Trump had promised an enforcement operation that would target about 2,000 migrant families who had been ordered to be deported, but so far, ICE has arrested only 35 people.
Critics have long vilified the Berks center, located about 75 miles northwest of Philadelphia, as a “baby jail” that should be closed. It’s one of three centers — the two others are in Texas — that hold families who enter the country without official permission.
Twelve families totaling 25 members from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and India are now being held at the 96-bed facility, according to the Shut Down Berks Coalition and lawyer Bridget Cambria. The children there range from ages 4 to 17.
At least one of the Berks families has been separated, showing again how immigration issues play out across the United States and not just at the southern border.