A Phoenix, Arizona office building is being used by a major U.S. military and CIA contractor to detain immigrant children.
UPDATED 07/12/18 11:40 AM PST: Military and CIA contractor MVM admitted that it detained immigrant children overnight in the black site facility in Pheonix, Arizona. A spokesperson reportedly told Reveal that it was a “regrettable exception” to the contractor’s policy.
The building reportedly has no kitchen, only a few toilets, and dark windows.
A local resident filmed children in sweatsuits filing into the building, prompting an investigation by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
According to DemocracyNow!, the building was leased in March by a military contractor called MVM, which has reportedly received almost $250 million in contracts to transport immigrant children since 2014.
At least 32 children entered the facility.
“We found that in March, MVM, this private contractor, signed a 5-year lease. This is one month before Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces “zero[-tolerance]” policy. In June, when we start hearing reports of separated—of children being separated at the border, that’s when Lianna and her neighbors first started seeing children. They didn’t know—they told me that they had no idea that these could have been immigrant children.” — Aura Bogado, immigration reporter for Reveal
Bogado also reports that MVM was founded by former CIA agents.
The lease on the building was secured only one month before Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the implementation of the “zero-tolerance policy” that would result in more than 2,000 children being separated from their parents.
The contractor is apparently allowed to house children in an office setting as a waiting area, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the building is being used as a long-term detention center.
“There has been a lot of outrage on the part of lawmakers, on the part of policymakers, on the part of the community. There will be a press conference today directly in front of that office, and a lot of lawmakers have issued statements. We are working with a reporter in Phoenix who is going to bring us more about the fallout from our story.” — Bogado
Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this story.