Feds Threatening Legal Action Against Texas Gov. Abbott
Mommy and Daddy are fighting. And by that I mean Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the federal government are arguing over facilities that house immigrant children. Right now there are about 7,000 immigrant children in the entire network of licensed shelters. Of those 7,000, more than half, or about 4,223 children are being housed in the state of Texas.
So what exactly is the battle over? Well, it seems a couple different things. One aspect of the argument has to do with how these children are labeled. Governor Abbott recently labeled these children as 'unlawful immigrants', while the federal government states that these migrant children 'do not accrue unlawful presence'.
Another point of contention has to do with the facilities that hold these children. The facilities are funded by the federal government but Governor Abbott believes that doesn't give them the right to subvert what he thinks is best. The facilities are overflowing right now and that has become a major issue.
The plan is to house the children in these Border Patrol facilities before they are released to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The issue right now is the sheer amount of migrant children is overloading the system. There just isn't enough space for them all as the facilities are similar to a hurricane shelter, where this is little to no room to play, and no privacy. Health officials have expressed concern for the children's mental health.
The order to strip away licenses from shelters is part of a disaster declaration Abbott issued last week, arguing the federal government can’t force Texas to keep issuing state licenses in response to a federal problem. The proclamation was a highly unusual move by the governor that comes amid criticism of record numbers of border crossings in recent months.
The letter that was sent by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was addressed to Governor Abbott, Texas Deputy Secretary of State Jose Esparza and Executive Commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services Cecil Erwin Young.