AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Governor Greg Abbott is asking the federal government to shut down a temporary facility housing migrant children after state officials received multiple reports of abuse and neglect.
Abbott has ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to investigate the allegations from the facility at the San Antonio area Freeman Coliseum.
The governor says the state has received complaints that include allegations of sexual assault, insufficient staffing, children not eating enough, and children testing positive for COVID-19 not being separated from other children who test negative.
Details about who filed the complaints and further specifics of the allegations were not provided.
The facility is holding more than 1,600 teenagers who crossed the US-Mexico border unaccompanied.
Abbott said the facility is a "health and safety nightmare," and in a statement released Wednesday, said he blamed the situation on President Joe Biden's border policies and lack of planning for the increased number of migrants.
“I am calling on the Biden administration to close this facility, and I am directing the DPS and the Texas Rangers to immediately begin investigating these allegations. President Biden’s disastrous decisions caused this crisis, and his administration must act now to protect these children, secure the border and end this crisis," the statement reads.
The San Antonio facility is one of several opened in border states to help house the increase in migrants temporarily as the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services work to identify sponsors and process them.
Border Patrol reported this week that the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border reached its highest level in March 2021.