The Biden administration threatened legal action Monday if Texas Governor Greg Abbott does not revoke an order to close the federally funded shelter home to children. who migrated across the US-Mexico border without parents
In a letter received from The Associated Press, the deputy general counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told the Republican governor that although the state has issued a permit for the shelter, it will not be available to the Republican. But Congress has tasked his agency with looking after unaccompanied children.
He warned Abbott not to interfere with those operations, and said HHS intends to take legal action if the state takes action to close the shelter.
“(The Office of Refugee Resettlement) operates 52 state licensed facilities in Texas. It comprises an important part of ORR̵7;s entire operational footprint and is an indispensable component of the federal immigration system,” HHS deputy general counsel Paul Rodriguez wrote in a letter to Abbott and Tex officials. two more sus “An announcement will be a direct attack on this system.”
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The letter calls for Abbott to clarify by June 11 that his announcement last week applies to 52 state-sanctioned shelters. But is it federally funded? It argues that federal law states that these immigrant children “Not appearing illegally” while they are in the United States. which challenges Abbott’s identification of these children as “Illegal immigrants”
More than half of immigrant children are protected by the US government. in a licensed establishment located in Texas The latest census on 19 May found 4,223 children in about 7,000 facilities in the entire network of authorized shelters.
Experts and advocates say the closure of these shelters could seriously disrupt programs for unaccompanied children. It has faced a talent problem that has forced the government to open dozens of emergency sites to deal with thousands of children.
The Biden administration has worked to expedite the move from border patrol to HHS custody and release of children to relatives in the United States. In the past month, HHS has reduced the number of children in shelters or emergency facilities by releasing more children to their family
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However, as of Sunday, there were about 16,000 children in HHS custody and the federal government has been working hard to increase the number of beds allowed in shelters. which is required by the supporters
A so-called emergency facility opened in March at convention centers, military bases and other large sites. They look like hurricane evacuation shelters. There is little space to play and no privacy. Lawyers and lawmakers who have visited have expressed concerns about the child’s mental health.
Abbott also criticized the state’s unlicensed emergency facilities. But supporters say his order could transfer more children to larger sites.
The letter states that states will discriminate against providers who receive federal grants to operate these shelters. That would violate the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity. This prevents the state from interfering with federal activities. and the Supreme Section, which says federal law takes precedence over state or local law.
The order to remove permits from the shelter is part of the disaster declaration Abbott issued last week. It alleges that the federal government cannot force Texas to continue issuing state licenses in response to federal issues. The statement was a highly unusual move by the governor that came amid criticism of the number of border crossings in recent months.
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More recently, Abbott is saying that state troopers will soon begin arresting migrants at the border. by promising to announce at the end of this week
The letter, sent Monday, was addressed to Texas Deputy Secretary of State Jose Esparza and Cecil Erwin Young, executive director of Texas Health and Human Services.