A massive 55,000-square-foot warehouse in Texas is the location the federal government has chosen to process the waves of unaccompanied migrant children showing up at the U.S. border, ABC News reports.
The original information on the warehouse was obtained by the Associated Press through a public records request.
The rate of illegal minors entering the U.S., who have been arrested since October, has increased 99 percent over the same period a year prior. The plans for the facility include four fence-enclosed pods, which will house around 1,000 children in total.
Critics say the Obama administration’s promise to grant legal status to many young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children has triggered the influx.
“Minors will be staged here until processing is completed and then they (will be) moved to a different location,” according to a fire protection engineering analysis submitted by the U.S. General Services Administration.
The vast majority of the children are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. A press release from the White House last week revealed that new programs are being launched to reintegrate these children back into their respective Central American countries.
Over the course of five years, a $40 million dollar program run by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is being offered in Guatemala to improve citizen security.
In addition, “USAID is calling for proposals to support new public-private partnerships through the Global Development Alliance to increase economic and educational opportunities for at risk youth in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras,” the press release stated. The total cost of the new programs being launched comes to approximately 332.6 million, as well as the already existing 130 million funneled to three Central American countries.
“The criminal smuggling networks that you pay to deliver your child to the United States have no regard for his or her safety and well-being – to them, your child is a commodity to be exchanged for a payment,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson wrote in an open letter to Central American parents.
Despite the open letter, Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Security Committee accused Johnson and others of ignoring the flood of illegal immigrant youths.
“The Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. government as a whole, has been slow to act, turning a blind eye to the warning signs,” McCaul said at the hearing Tuesday.
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