Governor Greg Abbott is calling on the Biden Administration to shut down the Freeman Coliseum migrant shelter after he says allegations of child abuse and neglect were made.
The governor told reporters today the calls were made to two state agencies this morning regarding Freeman Coliseum where around 1,400 kids are being housed. Abbott is asking the Texas Rangers to look into the claims which include sexual assault and child malnourishment allegations. There are also concerns coronavirus positive children aren't being quarantined. The governor has called for the federal government to shut down the facility and move them to larger shelters.
In a news conference outside of the facility today, the Governor announced that the state has received complaints that include allegations of sexual assault, a shortage of staff to properly supervise the children inside the facility, and that the children in the facility are not eating throughout the day. The complaints also allege that children that have tested positive for COVID-19 are not being physically separated from children who have tested negative.
Governor Abbott stated that these deplorable conditions are a direct result of President Biden's refusal to secure the border and his administration's lack of planning for the fallout of his open border policies. During the press conference, the Governor demanded that President Biden shut down the facility to stop any further abuse and move these children to federally run facilities in other states where the federal government has the space, personnel, and resources to ensure their safety.
"The Biden administration opened the borders and failed to plan for the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the border, and now we are faced with our worst fears—allegations of child abuse and neglect,” said Governor Abbott. “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 White House has responded to the allegations.
A spokesperson told News 4 the Biden Administration takes the safety and well-being of children in its care very seriously.
"Currently we see no basis for Governor Abbott’s call to shut down the San Antonio Freeman Coliseum as an intake site, however his claims will be looked into and investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services.”