Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that children held at a San Antonio facility for minors who have crossed the border illegally are being sexually assaulted, according to reports received by state agencies.
Abbott said that four separate complaints were sent to the federal Department of Health and Human Services and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services on Wednesday, according to Fox News.
The complaints alleged four separate kinds of child abuse were taking place at the Freeman Coliseum, one of the locations where children are being warehoused because border facilities do not have enough capacity to handle the flood of unaccompanied children crossing the border.
Federal officials said the site was holding about 1,645 minors and that 283 coronavirus-positive youth “remain in medical isolation,” according to KENS-TV.
Abbott said the facility should be closed.
“This facility is a health and safety nightmare. The Biden administration is now presiding over the abuse of children. To end this abuse, the Biden administration must immediately shut down this facility,” the governor said, according to KXAN-TV.
He said that when the Biden administration decided to stop enforcing any of former President Donald Trump’s immigration control policies, it set in motion a chain reaction that has now included child abuse.
“The Biden administration has caused this crisis and it has repeatedly failed to address it,” Abbott said.
“The Biden administration opened borders. The administration failed to plan for the influx of children that they invited to come. Now they face allegations of despicable child abuse and neglect. This must end,” he said.
Abbott said allegations of sexual assault, lack of staff, children who are not eating, and the mingling of COVID-positive youth with those not infected were the most serious complaints received.
“These problems are a byproduct of President Biden’s open border policies and the lack of planning for the fallout for those disastrous policies,” he said.
The governor said children at the facility should be relocated to safe facilities.
The charges will be investigated by the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers, Abbott said.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services confirmed it been contacted about the facility, according to KSAT-TV.
“The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) today received three separate reports alleging abuse and neglect occurring at the Freeman Coliseum, which is currently housing unaccompanied minors,” the department said in a statement. “Because this facility is not licensed by the State, we do not have the jurisdiction to investigate, but the information we received has been shared with DPS.”
According to KSAT, the White House said in a statement that the Biden administration “saw no basis for Governor Abbott’s call to shut down” the site.
However, it said, “his claims will be looked into and investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services.”
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