Sheriff bars deputies from working at detention center for migrant kids

A Texas sheriff has prohibited his deputies from working off-duty at a temporary shelter erected on federal land to house children separated from their parents, according to a report.

El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles said the deputies had been guarding equipment last week when the tent city was being set up at the Marcelino Point of Entry in Tornillo, CBS 19 reported.

“On Friday, I got a call that they were going to house kids there, but eventually it would house kids being separated from their parents being prosecuted for immigration violations,” Wiles said.

“Absolutely not,” Wiles said about allowing his deputies to work there, citing the damage that doing so would cause between his office and the community.

The sheriff canceled permission allowing deputies to work security Friday while in New Orleans at the National Sheriffs’ Association conference.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen spoke at the event, but Wiles, a Democrat, said he didn’t attend their speeches because he disliked the politics.

The off-duty security gig at Tornillo was tied to a company that ran a shelter for unaccompanied immigrant kids on the Doña Ana Range Complex on Fort Bliss territory several years ago.

“What had happened a couple of years ago, we were approached by a private company looking for security officers for a facility in Doña Ana (County) under the Obama administration,” Wiles said.

“The same company called last week (and said) that they were moving equipment and needed us to guard equipment,” he added.

The lawman said the Doña Ana shelter housed children who had arrived by themselves at the border or were in peril.

“This one (in Tornillo) is a totally different, concerning that these are children forcibly taken from their parents or relatives,” Wiles said. “That’s not a policy we support.”

He added: “Clearly, the outcry from the community would affect our ability to maintain the confidence and respect between the community we serve.”

Facing widespread outrage and condemnation, President Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order to stop more migrant children from being separated from their parents at the southern border.

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