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Texas investigates allegations of abuse at immigration facilities

Austin, Texas – Texas child welfare officials said Wednesday they received three reports of abuse and neglect at the San Antonio Coliseum, which houses more than 1,600 migrant teenagers across the southern border.

It’s the first time state officials have announced that they will investigate such allegations at one of the emergency facilities quickly set up in Texas by the US government amid a surge in unaccompanied youth crossings.

Child welfare officials did not provide details about who filed the allegations, but Republican Governor Greg Abbott said they understood they came from someone on the premises. One of the allegations included sexual abuse, but no further details were provided.

Abbott said at a news conference that he made arrangements immediately outside the facility on Wednesday evening. For weeks, Abbott has joined the Republican Party and criticized the Biden administration for dealing with immigration issues at the southern border of the United States.

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β€œThis facility needs to be closed soon. Children should be moved to a safer place with better staff,” Abbott said.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was unable to comment on a particular case in a statement, but “adopted a zero tolerance policy for all forms of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and inappropriate sexual behavior. There are. ”

The complaint was received by the Texas Family Protection Services Authority. Spokesman Patrick Klimins said he didn’t immediately know if the state had been abused or failed to file a complaint at the emergency scene of a youth immigrant in Texas.

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 at the start of the Biden administration, the lack of capacity of the authorities could cause children to wait weeks in overcrowded and inappropriate border guard facilities.

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Just in March and April, HHS added over 17,000 beds to convention centers, camps for oilfield workers, and military bases. This more than doubles the capacity of long-standing permanent facility systems that took years to open.

Last month, the U.S. government stopped taking immigrant teenagers to a site in Midland after being faced with questions about the safety of emergency sites. Midland County district lawyer Laura Nodolf said on Wednesday that they were “faced with allegations that led to an ongoing criminal investigation,” but provided no further details. She said the allegations were also reported to federal authorities.

The HHS has exempted regulations that normally apply to permanent facilities, such as bypassing FBI fingerprint background checks for all caregivers in order to staff personnel at the emergency site. We’re looking for a combination of contractors and nonprofits to staff our site, increase job listings in some cities, and get started right away. There is no information suggesting that personnel have been accused of assaulting children.

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The merchant reported from Houston.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Texas investigates allegations of abuse at immigration facilities

Source link Texas investigates allegations of abuse at immigration facilities

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