Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demanded a migrant facility be shut down after allegations of child sex abuse surfaced while blaming President Joe Biden for his handling of the southern border situation and the influx of unaccompanied minors.
The makeshift facility, set up by the federal government at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, is the subject of complaints regarding allegations of sexual assault, a shortage of staff to supervise the children properly, and accusations that those in custody aren’t being fed properly, the Republican announced during a Wednesday evening press conference, adding that solo minors are said to be testing positive for COVID-19 and staff is not physically separating them to avoid spread.
In a statement that followed, Abbott blamed the “deplorable conditions” on Biden’s “refusal to secure the border” and said he’s deploying the Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to investigate the claims.
“The Biden administration opened the borders and failed to plan for the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the border, and now we’re faced with our worst fears — allegations of child abuse and neglect.” the governor said. “I am calling on the Biden administration to close this facility, and I am directing DPS and the Texas Rangers to immediately begin investigating these allegations. President Biden’s disastrous decisions caused the crisis, and his administration must act now to protect these children, secure the border, and end the crisis.”
Biden opened the borders & failed to plan for the influx of unaccompanied minors.
Now he must respond to allegations of child abuse & neglect on his watch.
DPS & TX Rangers are investigating.
The administration must close the facility & protect these children. pic.twitter.com/s1chzDQYlx
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX)
April 8, 2021
The Biden administration has faced bipartisan criticism for its handling of the surge at the U.S.-Mexico border, which it refuses to call a “crisis,” as authorities estimate agents observed 170,000 migrants attempting to cross into the United States in March, compared to 100,000 who tried to do the same in February. A group of GOP lawmakers, led by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, visited the border this week and said at least 1 million unaccompanied migrant children are set to arrive in the country by the conclusion of the year, dwarfing previous estimates of 117,000.
Roughly 40% of Border Patrol officials are preoccupied with handling the influx, and children are held in facilities for an average of 24 days, the Republicans added.
“In all my years in Congress, this has been the most disturbing field tour that I’ve ever taken,” California Rep. Tom McClintock told reporters at a roundtable event on Wednesday.
“Yesterday, we watched literally hundreds of illegal migrants crossing the border and turning themselves in to the Border Patrol,” he continued. “Groups who were in the company of children under 7 had their basic biometric information taken down, and then [they were] dispatched to bus stations to continue into the United States.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.