A New Facility For Unaccompanied Migrant Children Is Now Empty

The last group of migrant children staying at the Carrizo Springs shelter in Texas were discharged on Thursday.
Posted at 12:07 PM, Jul 26, 2019

The Trump administration rushed to open a temporary facility in Texas earlier this year to house unaccompanied migrant children. Now, that facility stands empty.

The last group of migrant children staying at the Carrizo Springs shelter were discharged on Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Department. Those children were either placed with sponsors or sent to the agency's permanent facilities.

This temporary shelter, which was once a lodging facility for oil workers, had been up and running for less than a month.

Under current law, unaccompanied children who arrive in the U.S. from a noncontiguous country are transferred over to HHS from Customs and Border Patrol. The child then stays in the department's custody until officials can find a relative or sponsor in the U.S. to unite them with. 

Since the facility opened on June 30, HHS said 354 children had been sent there. That's well below the shelter's capacity of more than 1,100. 

The discharge of the remaining kids being housed at the shelter comes as fewer numbers of migrants are attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border during the summer months.

Officials still plan to retain the Carrizo Springs shelter for the time being. It was originally scheduled to remain in use through January 2020 — though it's no longer clear if HHS will keep it open for that long.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.