Thirty-seven of 44 shelters, or 87 percent, currently housing unaccompanied migrant minors in Texas reported positive COVID-19 test results between March 5 and 23, according to data collected by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Cases are identified by shelter facilities and foster care providers, which are then reported to officials at the agency.
“The Biden Administration has been an abject failure when it comes to ensuring the safety of unaccompanied minors who cross our border,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said. “The conditions unaccompanied minors face in these federally run facilities is unacceptable and inhumane. From a lack of safe drinking water in one location to a COVID-19 outbreak in another, the Biden Administration has no excuse for subjecting these children to these kinds of conditions.
Thousands of immigrant teenagers will be held at a convention center in Dallas, Texas, as an increasing number of unaccompanied migrant children occupy available facilities, the Associated Press reported Monday.
Up to 3,000 boys aged 15 to 17 will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas possibly beginning this week, the AP reported. The convention center will be used by federal agencies for up to 90 days as a “decompression center,” according to a memo obtained by the AP.
Government facilities that host unaccompanied migrant children are rapidly reaching capacity due to COVID-19 operational restrictions, causing the Biden administration to rely on a privately operated Trump-era facility in Texas.
An emergency temporary facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, was reopened Monday and around 200 migrant children were transported to the facility that will hold up to 700 migrant teenagers due to permanent facilities reaching maximum capacity and increasing apprehensions of unaccompanied children, CBS News reported. U.S. Border Patrol encountered over 5,700 unaccompanied minors in January 2021, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).