Biden admin. opens new immigration facility for unaccompanied children in Donna
In a Tuesday news release, the Biden administration announced an additional holding facility for unaccompanied migrant children in Donna.
The Delphi Emergency Intake Site received the first group of unaccompanied children on Tuesday- the facility will welcome 375 kids but holds the capacity for up to 1,500.
According to the news release, the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) will operate the migrant center; it will house unaccompanied teenagers ages 13 through 17.
During his visit to the Rio Grande Valley last week, Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed the Donna immigration tent facility would be expanding.
Last week, in a first-ever media tour, a U.S. Border Patrol spokesperson said agents had a backlog of 1,200 children processed and ready to leave the center but that the HSS did not have space.
The HHS said the Delphi facility in Donna, dubbed a temporary facility, will comply with safety guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) to limit the spread of infectious diseases.
The HHS laid out a short and long-term plan for the long backlog of migrant children in a statement.
In the short term, the plan is to quickly move kids from Border Patrol custody and into HHS care by expanding capacity, adding emergency intake sites, and reducing the time it takes to get kids to the sponsors they have in the county.
HHS said the agency is looking to secure more space in state-licensed childcare facilities in the long term.