Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday called for the federal government to close a San Antonio facility housing unaccompanied migrant children after he became aware of allegations of sexual assault.
“In short, this facility is a health and safety nightmare,” Abbott said at a press conference outside the Freeman Coliseum, which is reportedly housing more than 1,300 teens who recently crossed the U.S.-Mexico border without a parent or guardian.
The announcement came as Texas and the federal government are locked in battle over a recent increase in the number of migrants crossing the state’s southern border.
Abbott said complaints about sexual assault were reported early Wednesday to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as well as the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The governor did not know the identities of those who alleged assault, nor did he provide many details. He said he was concerned more than one child may have been assaulted. He also said that DPS will investigate the allegations.
Abbott noted that he wanted to alert President Joe Biden’s administration and push them to move the children housed in the coliseum to other federally run facilities with more “space, personnel and resources to ensure safety.” He also said the facility was short on staff, some kids were not eating enough food and those infected with the coronavirus were not separated from healthy teens.