Photo Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Taken by Yesica Uvina
A new push to move migrant children by the White House is raising concerns among federal officials.
According to The Washington Free Beacon:
Federal officials are raising concerns about rising pressure from the White House to relocate unaccompanied minors to holding sites that those officials warn could pose a danger to the children—and violate a 1997 legal settlement that required the government to house minors in “safe and sanitary” facilities.
The latest indication of the bleak situation came Wednesday, according to sources familiar with the situation, when the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, told officials that the bureau is grappling with a White House directive to send kids to Fort Bliss, an El Paso, Texas, army base that is under construction, and to an emergency influx center in San Antonio, Texas.
Some officials warned against the move, arguing that it would “result in children sitting on buses” and “extremely dangerous ratios at the sites affected,” referring to the ratio of children to adults. Those officials cited the 1997 Flores agreement between immigration groups and the federal government that requires immigration agencies to house unaccompanied minors in facilities that are “safe and sanitary.”
“We are not going to speculate on what might be or not be internal deliberations,” HHS spokesman Mark Weber told the Washington Free Beacon, adding that “additional capacity is urgently needed to manage both enhanced COVID-19 mitigation strategies and the increasing numbers” of migrants.
It looks like Health and Human Services is leaning toward asking for 300 volunteers from the agency to help manage the border cases virtually.