Since mid-June, the number of unaccompanied immigrant children in the largest emergency shelter of the Biden administration has fallen by more than 40%. The government reported that there were approximately 2,000 children at the Fort Bliss military base in El Paso, Texas in June, down from 4,800 in May.
Minister of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra The reporter was told that as of Monday, there were 790 boys and zero girls in the facility. The agency stated that all girls have been reunited with their families or sponsors in the United States, or have been sent to licensed agencies with higher standards of care.
Becerra visited Fort Bliss for the second time since it opened in March. He said there are more services and staff that will allow the children to be released more quickly. Therefore, the agency is considering whether to close some emergency shelters. “Because we have successfully managed the traffic, we are ready to start demobilizing several of our emergency reception points,” he said.
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In interview transcripts completed by lawyers and submitted to the Los Angeles Federal Court last week, immigrant children described their eagerness to escape from Fort Bliss and other large shelters established by the Biden administration.
From March to June, these children were interviewed by lawyers who supervised the long-term solution of the custody of immigrant children.
Some children say they don’t know if anyone is trying to reunite them with their families, which makes them feel anxious. Others do not have enough mental health counselors, have difficulty falling asleep because they turn on the lights at night, and avoid eating because the food smells bad. Some people said that they slept all day and spent more than a month in a facility like Fort Bliss.
vice-president Kamala Harris Visited El Paso last Friday.Her spokeswoman, Symone Sanders, told reporters that the president Joe Biden Becerra has been instructed to “conduct a thorough investigation” and report on the situation at the Fort Bliss tent camp, which advocates say is particularly disturbing.
“The government takes this very seriously. Very seriously,” Sanders said.
A White House official said late on Friday that the situation had improved, adding that Biden had not ordered a formal investigation request and that the agency was already investigating the facility.
Shaw Drake, a full-time attorney and policy adviser for the American Civil Liberties Union in Texas, praised the reduction in the number of children living in Fort Bliss, but questioned why it took so long to see the release of children from government undocumented shelters Make real progress.
Drake praised the Biden administration for quickly opening more than a dozen emergency shelters to help children get rid of crowded adult immigrant shelters. However, he said, “Then, the focus should be to reunite the children with sponsors, which seems to keep the children in places like Fort Bliss for too long.”
The increase in the number of immigrant children crossing the southwest border alone posed a challenge to the Biden administration. The Ministry of Health and Human Services currently cares for more than 14,200 migrant children, up from 22,000 two months ago.
Becerra stated that more children are now living in licensed shelters rather than unlicensed facilities, which is contrary to the government report in May. He said officials are working to provide more beds in licensed facilities.
“We continue to expand our capabilities, so we are able to hand over more of these children to responsible, vetted guardians and then make room for another child,” he said.
Despite improvements, Becerra stated that shelters are not a solution and urged Congress Repair what he calls a broken immigration system.