The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) announced on Saturday that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is opening another facility to hold 500 unaccompanied child migrants in Pecos, Texas, according to Fox News.
The new facility is slated to house at least 500 unaccompanied minors initially with the expected ability to increase up to 2,000 children if necessary, Fox News reported.
According to CBS News, there are currently about 15,500 unaccompanied migrant minors, 5,000 of which are teenagers and children, at Border Patrol facilities at the U.S. southern border. (RELATED: Thousands Of Immigrant Teenagers To Be Held In Texas Convention Center)
“I got notified about an hour ago from HHS, that they’re opening up a new unaccompanied minor facility in PECOS, which is in my district, out in West Texas. This facility is going to house between 500 to 2000, unaccompanied minors, it appears as if they’re targeting unused man camps. These are oil facilities where workers, temporary oil workers, house when they’re operating in the oil gas industry,” Republican Texas Rep. Tony Gonzalez said on Fox News. “There is no end in sight, I’m told there’s two other facilities, and they’re also looking at attending this crisis is getting out of control.”
A newsy detail: Biden has identified nearly a dozen other sites, including DOD facilities, to house the children and teenagers until they can be placed with a sponsor, according to a gov. document…One of the sites in Pecos, Texas could hold 2,000 beds.https://t.co/Wful5Huqm5
— Zolan Kanno-Youngs (@KannoYoungs) March 18, 2021
On average, these unaccompanied children have spent approximately 136 hours in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, an amount that well exceed the 72-hour limit U.S. law specifies, according to CBS News.
HHS was previously holding nearly 10,500 unaccompanied children in emergency housing facilities and shelters, Mark Weber, department spokesperson, informed CBS News.
The Biden administration has faced calls to address the ongoing immigration crisis at the border. Illegal immigrants attempting to enter the country eclipsed more than 100,000 times in February — a sum significantly greater than all but four months of Donald Trump’s presidency, the Associated Press reported.