Instead of investing in detention, the government should consider investing more resources in charities and nonprofit groups that want to help migrants.
Those children who have family members already in the US should be reunited with them as swiftly as possible. Those who do not should be provided with consistent, culturally sensitive case management.
Greater transparency throughout these processes will be essential. In the long run, the government will have to provide more manpower and capacity to treat these children fairly. Our immigration courts must also be expanded to deal with the backlog of asylum claims. And detention should be used only as a last resort, if at all.
Of course, none of this will be cheap. Yet neither is our current system. It costs $775 a day to keep a child in the Carrizo Springs facility. That is money that could be better spent to ensure that the best interests of children guide our policy towards young migrants.