Texas

Texas investigates allegations of abuse at immigration facilities

Austin, Texas (AP) — Texas child welfare officials received three reports of abuse and neglect at the San Antonio Coliseum, which houses more than 1,600 migrant teenagers across the southern border, on Wednesday. Said that.


What you need to know

  • County officials volunteering at the Freeman Coliseum said the nature of the allegations did not match what she saw on multiple visits.
  • Child welfare authorities did not provide details about who filed the complaint
  • Other allegations include inadequate staffing, children not eating, and children who tested positive for COVID-19 were not isolated.
  • The allegation was received by the Texas Family Protection Services Authority

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. County officials, who also volunteer at the Freeman Coliseum site in San Antonio, said the nature of the allegations did not match what she saw when she visited the facility multiple times.

Child welfare officials did not provide details about who filed the allegations, but Republican Governor Greg Abbott said they understood they came from someone in the facility. 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.

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

Bexar County Commissioner Rebeka Clay Flores, who was on-site as both an elected official and volunteer, provided teenagers with three meals and two light meals a day and was tested for COVID-19. From other children who said that anyone who tested positive would be placed in another location far away. She said she toured the facility with Abbott after the press conference and asked staff questions, including the COVID-19 testing protocol.

“I wish I had finished his tour when the governor politicized the children before the press conference,” said elected Democrat Clay Flores.

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.

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.

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 combine contractors and nonprofits to staff the site, increasing job listings in some cities and seeking people to get started quickly. There is no information suggesting that personnel have been accused of assaulting children.

Texas investigates allegations of abuse at immigration facilities

Source link Texas investigates allegations of abuse at immigration facilities

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