Texas Gov. Blames Biden As Allegations of Sexual Abuse Emerge at Child Migrant Facility
Texas Governor Abbott called on the Biden administration to shut down the migrant facility amid allegations of child abuse and neglect.
Abbott said, “The Biden administration opened the borders and failed to plan for the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the border, and now we are faced with our worst fears — allegations of child abuse and neglect.”
I'm asking @TxDPS & TX Rangers to investigate allegations of child abuse & neglect inside the Freeman Coliseum migrant child facility.
Biden's open border policy caused this crisis. I'm calling on the administration to shut down the facility immediately. pic.twitter.com/wbjiB6lVzR
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 7, 2021
The Texas governor added that the complaints they received include allegations of failure to separate children infected with COVID-19 from others, children not eating, insufficient number of staffers, and allegations of sexual assault.
“In short, this facility is a health and safety nightmare. The Biden administration is now presiding over the abuse of children,” Abbott told reporters.
Abbott also added that the current situation at the border is a “byproduct of Biden’s open border policies” and the administration’s failure to plan for these consequences.
Migrant children at the facility are supposed to be either transferred to a sponsor home or one of the Department of Health and Human Services’ long-term health shelters.
HAPPENING NOW: Governor Abbott is speaking at a news conference at San Antonio's Freeman Coliseum, which houses unaccompanied minors. He says state agencies received tips regarding the mistreatment of children there. Abbott says, "This facility is a health and safety nightmare."
— Reena Jade Diamante (@reenajade) April 7, 2021
However, as the Biden administration’s Department of Health and Human Services scrambles to open “emergency” temporary facility at convention centers, military bases, work camps, and other to house the overwhelming number of children encountered at the border said moves are cutting corners on health and safety standards.
According to congressional sources and legal observers, this raised new concerns about Biden’s ability to protect children. And even its permanent shelter network includes some facilities whose grants were renewed this year, notwithstanding a record of complaints about children’s physical or sexual abuse.
Mark Greenberg, a former head of the Administration for Children and Families (which oversees the unaccompanied-children program) at the HHS, told ProPublica, “There may be no good choices. Everything has to be weighed against the alternative. And the alternative is the backups at Customs and Border Protection. And recognizing how bad that is, it means that people have to make unpalatable decisions.”
Other than the Texas Governor, Texas Republican senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz also expressed their outrage at the sexual abuse allegations and called for the migrant facility to be investigated.
We need to immediately get to the bottom of what is happening to these children and President Biden needs to step up and address the driving factor behind this — his crisis at the southern border.https://t.co/czxo1CDXOM
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 9, 2021
On Thursday, Cruz said in a statement on Fox News that these allegations of horrific abuse of children in the custody of the Biden administration are “tragic.”
Cruz added, “We need to immediately get to the bottom of what is happening to these children, and President Biden needs to step up and address the driving factor behind this — his crisis at the southern border.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services made a statement saying that they will continue to investigate any incidents affecting children’s health, well-being, and safety and will take the proper measures, including “initiating employee disciplinary action, termination, and reporting to appropriate investigative entities, such as law enforcement agencies and relevant licensing bodies.”
There are currently over 16,000 unaccompanied children under the care of HHS and over 4,000 in Customs and Border Protection custody.
There were more than 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children in U.S. government custody this morning.
HHS was housing a record high 16,000 migrant children in shelters and emergency sites.
Another 4,200 unaccompanied children were stranded in Border Patrol tents and stations. pic.twitter.com/NSuXkVZFLb
— Camilo Montoya-Galvez (@camiloreports) April 7, 2021
On Thursday, the CBP announced a 100% increase in migrant encounters in March, stating that they encountered 172,000 migrants. Said number includes 18,890 unaccompanied children. So far, this is the highest monthly number recorded.