Biden Administration to Open Migrant Overflow Facility
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is reopening the facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas. It can accommodate up to 700 children, and has the means to be expanded if necessary.
The facility will house minors that have been released from COVID-19 quarantine, only holding children that are over the age of 13.
As of Jan. 28, there were over 4,700 children in the care of HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. The administration said in a statement that they are anticipating the need to place children in the facility by Feb. 12 or very soon after.
This decision was made to keep up with the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the border into Mexico illegally. The HHS is in charge of caring for those children who are taken into custody by the Department of Homeland Security.
If these minors are placed in HHS care, the department works to place them with a sponsor in the U.S., such as a parent or relative.
There has been an increase in apprehensions of unaccompanied minors at the border, likely from environmental and economic reasons. The perception that Biden and his administration are more welcoming to immigrants could also be a factor in the recent spike.
The majority of the cases have fully recovered and moved from quarantine. None of the children that tested positive had to be hospitalized.
Over 21,000 coronavirus tests have been administered for children in the program.