The U.S. government is now planning to take the Dallas convention center, located downtown, and use it as a facility to house up to 3,000 migrant teenagers as numbers of unaccompanied minors crossing the border continues to skyrocket, causing strain on many of the facilities currently being used to house individuals.
The Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center will be used for up to 90 days starting this week, according to a written notification that was sent out to members of the Dallas City Council and then later provided to the Associated Press.
Federal agencies are going to use the facilities to provide shelter for boys between the ages of 15 to 17.
U.S. Health and Human Services is rushing to open facilities across the country to house immigrant children who are otherwise being held by the U.S. Border Patrol, which is generally supposed to detain children for no more than three days. The Border Patrol is holding children longer because there is next to no space in the HHS system, similar to the last major increase in migration two years ago.
A tent facility operated by the Border Patrol in Donna, some 170 miles (274 kilometers) south of Midland, is holding more than 1,000 children and teenagers, some as young as 4. Lawyers who inspect immigrant detention facilities under a court settlement say they interviewed children who reported being held in packed conditions in the tent, with some sleeping on the floor and others not able to shower for five days.
HHS did not respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for the city of Dallas said the city was preparing a comment on the agreement.
HHS also stated they will be housing immigrant youths in Midland. Teens began coming on Sunday, arriving at a converted camp primarily used for oilfield workers, where American Red Cross volunteers provided care for them.
This surge at the border is the result of President Biden removing the critically important policies put in place by the former administration, which were designed to dissuade folks from crossing illegally.
Thanks to wiping out those policies, we now have yet another border crisis. Thanks, Joe.