HHS closing north Houston facility for unaccompanied migrant children

HOUSTON – The Department of Health and Human Services announced Saturday all the migrant children at the North Houston facility run by the National Association Of Christian Churches will be immediately unified with sponsors or transferred to an appropriate ORR facility.

“We actually found out when we started seeing these buses arriving this morning,” said Pastor Jose Ortega of the National Association Of Christian Churches.

According to the department, almost 130 of the 450 girls on-site already have plans to be unified with a sponsor. While the department will continue working with interagency partners to unify the children with a sponsor.

HHS said the children being transferred are being moved to ensure continuity of care under conditions that meet our strict standards of care in ORR state-licensed shelters, the Carrizo Springs Influx Care Facility, or Emergency Intake Sites where beds have become available.

According to the department, the Houston facility and other emergency intake sites are intended for temporary use. The Houston facility was initially opened on April 1.

Pastor Ortega was critical of how things ended and the way in which the girls were rushed out.

“The girls don’t need to be put through this. These girls have been put through enough. You should have seen them crying,” said Ortega.

A spokesperson for Mayor Turner said the White House notified Turner Saturday about the closure since the children will be placed in other facilities or with family members.

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