Report: Convention Center Will House 3K Migrant Boys

It's being called a 'decompression center'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2021 6:40 PM CDT
Report: Feds Will House 3K Minors at Convention Center
Migrant children and teenagers wait to be processed after entering the site of a temporary holding facility Sunday, March 14, 2021 south of Midland, Texas.   (Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)

Up to 3,000 minors detained after crossing the border could soon find themselves in a downtown Dallas convention center. According to a government memo to Dallas City Council members seen by the AP, authorities plan to use the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center for up to 90 days to house thousands of boys, ages 15 to 17. The memo describes the site as a "decompression center." The federal government, which is facing a surge of unaccompanied minors crossing the border from Mexico, says it is deploying FEMA to the border for what Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calls an effort to "quickly expand physical capacity for appropriate lodging."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not confirm the convention center report Monday, but she said the government is looking at options for minors, some of whom have been detained Customs and Border Protection beyond the 3-day legal limit, the Hill reports. "We’ve been looking at additional facilities to open, to move ... unaccompanied children into facilities where they can access health care, educational resources, mental health resources, legal resources, and we’d ensure that we’re meeting the standard we’ve set out," Psaki said. Around 1,000 children and teenagers are currently being held in a overcrowded Border Patrol tent facility in Donna, 165 miles south of Dallas, the Dallas Morning News reports. Minors are also being sent to a converted camp for oil workers in Midland. (More immigration stories.)

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