Houston (AP) — The Houston facility, which housed unmanned girls across the US border, was closed and the girls moved soon, the US Department of Health and Human Services said Saturday.
Approximately 450 girls who had been detained since April 1 had been moved to an emergency intake area for unaccompanied children run by the National Christian Church Association near Bush Intercontinental Airport.
“NACC Houston EIS and other emergency intake sites are intended for use as a temporary measure,” HHS said in a statement.
Officials at FIELD, an immigration advocacy group in Houston, praised the dismissal of the girls, who said FIELD director Cesar Espinosa was 13-17 years old, but questioned the reasons for the move.
Espinosa said an incident occurred at the center on Friday night and FIELD employees saw law enforcement and ambulances outside the center but could not determine what had happened.
“There seems to have been a lot of confusion about what’s going on,” Espinosa said, translating the description of the scene provided by employee Alan Cisneros in Spanish. “The people there seemed to wipe their tears in a sad, bowed position.”
Houston police did not immediately return a call for comment on Saturday, and the call to the National Christian Church Association rang unanswered.
Espinosa, who visited the center, said the girls were housed in a warehouse.
“There really wasn’t space for social distance … they were only allowed to get up from their beds to use the toilet and to take a shower,” says Espinosa. I did.
“Everything brought in was temporary. The shower was temporary and we brought in a temporary toilet, so this space is well equipped to accommodate children, let alone children. I didn’t, “said Espinosa.
According to HHS, about 130 girls are planned to be integrated with sponsors, usually parents or relatives, and ORR will look for sponsors for the remaining girls.
Texas Child Welfare Authority Said recently They received three reports of abuse and negligence at a facility in San Antonio, which houses more than 1,600 migrant teenagers across the southern border.
U.S. government last month Stopped taking Immigrant teenagers to a site in Midland faced a question about the safety of an emergency site.
HHS hastened to open a large site in the southwest to accommodate migrant children amid a surge in unaccompanied youth crossings at the southern border. Due to the increase in border crossings during President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the lack of capacity of the authorities could cause children to wait weeks in overcrowded and inappropriate border guard facilities.