Immigrant teens to be accommodated at the Dallas Convention Center


A border patrol-operated tent in Donna, about 804 kilometers south of Dallas, is home to more than 1,000 children and teens, some as young as 4 years old. children who reported being held in crowded conditions in the tent, some sleeping on the floor and others unable to shower for five days.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Saturday asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help manage and care for children crossing the border.

“I am incredibly proud of the border patrol officers, who have worked tirelessly under difficult circumstances to care for the children temporarily under our care,” Mayorkas said in a statement. “Yet, as I have said many times, a border patrol facility is no place for a child.”

Asked about accommodation for migrant teens at the convention center, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that the administration was looking for additional facilities for unaccompanied children, but should examine the details of the arrangement in Dallas.

“We would definitely make sure we met the standard that we set,” Psaki said.

The growing number of child arrivals comes at a politically charged time, with Congress passing immigration legislation this week. Biden has delighted immigration advocates by backing a bill to provide a path to citizenship for all of the estimated 11 million people in the United States illegally. He also suspended several Trump-era policies to deter asylum, including one that forced them to wait in Mexico for court hearings in the United States.

Republicans have used the numbers to paint a borderline out of control.

“This crisis is created by the presidential policies of this new administration,” parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy said on Monday as he led a large congressional delegation in El Paso, Texas. “There is no other way to claim it than a crisis at the Biden border.”

Biden has maintained pandemic-related powers that allow him to immediately deport people who enter the country without legal status, denying them the opportunity to seek asylum. Biden’s aides have yet to say when they might lift that authority. It does not extend to children crossing the border alone.

US officials saw children traveling alone 9,457 times in February, nearly double the number in January and the highest since May 2019, when the number encountered approached 12,000 at the height of the Trump era.

Memo sent to members of Dallas City Council says Federal Emergency Management Agency and HHS will be “responsible for managing shelters and contracts” for food, security, cleaning and medical care at the center. congresses. Dallas previously provided space for the HHS during the 2014 surge of immigrant child crossings.

Dallas City Manager TC Broadnax said in a statement that “collective action is needed, and we will do our best to support this humanitarian effort.” He referred questions to HHS, which did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

HHS has also said it will house immigrant youth in Midland. The teens began arriving on Sunday at a converted oilfield worker camp where American Red Cross volunteers will attend to them. BuzzFeed News first reported the opening of the Midland facility.

The Red Cross has sent around 60 volunteers to facilities in Midland and Dallas and plans to deploy more in the coming days, said Greta Gustafson, a spokesperson for the group.

The surge on the US-Mexico border presented a major test for the Biden administration, which has vowed to break with more restrictive measures against migrants enacted by Trump. Biden left some of Trump’s policies in place, including deportations of adults and immigrant families under a public health statement citing the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden has refused to reinstate child deportations on public health grounds, nor has his administration been able to deport many families in South Texas due to policy changes in the state. Mexican of Tamaulipas, in front of the Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Border officers apprehend an average of more than 400 children per day, far more than the number of children the HHS treats and hands over to sponsors. The Biden administration has announced several policy changes in an attempt to speed up releases, but immigration experts and lawyers say the government could do more to speed up the process, especially returning children to their parents in the USA.


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