Migrant teen detainment center facing child abuse probe nearly full: reports

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Migrant teen detainment center facing child abuse probe nearly full: reports

A temporary detainment center for unaccompanied migrant teens in San Antonio that’s under investigation for child abuse is nearly

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A temporary detainment center for unaccompanied migrant teens in San Antonio that’s under investigation for child abuse is nearly at capacity just over a week after opening, reports said Thursday. 

The Freeman Expo Center, which opened on March 29 and is designed to hold 2,100 unaccompanied migrant male teens between the ages of 13-17, already had 1,370 kids in their care as of Monday, KSAT reported. 

“Too many people coming in. Not enough people going out,” Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told the outlet Wednesday. 

“Right now we are facing a humanitarian crisis and I do use the word crisis.” 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a news conference Tuesday asking President Biden to close the facility after the Department of Health and Human Services and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services received serious child abuse complaints related to the center.

Minors sit on the ground at the Department of Homeland Security holding facility run by the Customs and Border Patrol in Donna, Texas.
Minors sit on the ground at the Department of Homeland Security holding facility run by the Customs and Border Patrol in Donna, Texas.
Dario Lopez-Mills/Getty Images

“In short, this facility is a health and safety nightmare. The Biden administration is now presiding over the abuse of children,” Abbott told reporters.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asked President Biden to close the Freeman Expo Center after the reported child abuse complaints related to the center.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asked President Biden to close the Freeman Expo Center after the reported child abuse complaints related to the center.
Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP

The Republican governor said the complaints included child sex abuse, understaffing, unfed children and a failure to separate kids with COVID-19 from healthy children and is a product of the Biden Administration’s poor attempts to prepare for the influx.  

Child on child sex abuse was an issue at various shelters and foster families during the last influx of migrant children to the country in 2019 and tends to happen when large amounts of kids are sheltering together with little supervision. 

Unaccompanied children who cross the border can only stay in US Customs and Border Protection custody for 72 hours but their processing stations have been stuffed well beyond capacity, forcing the creation of overflow facilities like the Freeman Expo Center. 

Unaccompanied minor migrants wait in La Joya, Texas to be transported by the US Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico.
Unaccompanied minor migrants wait in La Joya, Texas to be transported by the US Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico.
REUTERS/Go Nakamura

The center is managed by HHS’ Administration for Children and Families and is supposed to be a temporary shelter while federal officials work to link the kids up with family they have in the US or foster families willing to take them in. Many kids have reportedly stayed way beyond the maximum three days.

The Freeman Expo Center
The Freeman Expo Center is designed is designed to hold 2,100 unaccompanied migrant male teens.
Alamy Stock Photo

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