Texas investigating abuse allegations at migrant facility

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas youngster welfare officers stated Wednesday they obtained three experiences alleging abuse and neglect at a San Antonio coliseum that’s holding greater than 1,600 immigrant youngsters who crossed the southern border.

It’s the first time state officers introduced they’re investigating such allegations at one of many emergency services the U.S. authorities has rapidly arrange in Texas amid a pointy improve in crossings of unaccompanied youths. A county official who additionally volunteers on the San Antonio web site, the Freeman Coliseum, stated the character of the allegations don’t align with what she has seen in a number of visits to the power.

Little one welfare officers wouldn’t reveal particulars about who made the allegations, however Republican Gov. Greg Abbott stated his understanding was that they got here from somebody who had been inside the power. One of many allegations embody sexual abuse, however no additional particulars had been supplied.

Different allegations embody inadequate staffing, youngsters not consuming and people who examined constructive for COVID-19 not being separated, Abbott stated at a information convention that he rapidly organized exterior the power Wednesday night. For weeks, Abbott has joined Republicans in criticizing the Biden administration for the dealing with of the migration problem on the U.S. southern border.

“This facility ought to shut down instantly. The kids must be moved to raised staffed and higher secured places,” Abbott stated.

Bexar County Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores, who has been inside the power as each an elected official and volunteer, stated the youngsters are provided three meals and two snacks a day and anybody who exams constructive for COVID-19 is put in a separate space removed from different youngsters. She toured the power with Abbott after his press convention and stated he requested employees questions that included COVID-19 testing protocols.


“I want the governor had accomplished his tour earlier than the press convention when he politicized youngsters,” stated Clay-Flores, an elected Democrat.

The U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers stated in an announcement that it couldn’t touch upon particular instances however “has a zero-tolerance coverage for all types of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and inappropriate sexual conduct.”

The allegations had been obtained by the Texas Division of Household and Protecting Providers. Spokesman Patrick Crimmins stated he didn’t instantly know if the state had obtained different abuse or neglect allegations at emergency websites for migrant youths in Texas.

HHS has rushed to open giant websites to deal with migrant youngsters throughout the Southwest amid a pointy improve in crossings of unaccompanied youths on the southern border. The company’s lack of capability as border crossings had been rising in the beginning of the Biden administration has led to youngsters generally ready for weeks in overcrowded and unsuitable Border Patrol services.

Simply in March and April, HHS has added greater than 17,000 beds at conference facilities, camps for oil subject staff, and army bases — greater than doubling the capability of its longstanding system of everlasting services that took years to open.

The U.S. authorities final month had stopped taking immigrant youngsters to 1 web site in Midland

because it confronted questions concerning the security of the emergency websites. Midland County District Legal professional Laura Nodolf stated Wednesday that they’ve been “confronted with allegations which have resulted in an ongoing felony investigation” however provided no additional particulars. She stated the allegations had been additionally reported to federal officers.

To employees its emergency websites, HHS waived rules that usually apply to its everlasting services, together with bypassing FBI fingerprint background checks for all caregivers. It has employed a mixture of contractors and nonprofits to employees the websites, with job postings going up in a number of cities in search of individuals to start out work instantly. There isn’t any data to recommend any employees member is accused of assaulting a toddler.


Service provider reported from Houston.


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