Manvel facility could house undocumented children

By Samantha Ptashkin - Reporter

BRAZORIA COUNTY, Texas - It looks like Brazoria County hasn't steered clear of the border crisis just yet. Federal records indicate a facility located on the outskirts of Manvel could soon be housing undocumented children.

The news comes just a couple days after Brazoria County leaders passed a resolution banning the children from the county.

The facility where undocumented children may be placed is called the Shiloh Treatment Center. Workers inside tell Local 2 it has been around since 1996, helping children with behavioral and emotional problems.

Brazoria County residents packed into a courthouse this week and a majority made it clear -- they don't want undocumented children in their community.

"I absolutely have the sympathy and compassion for these children, but we have American children who are going hungry tonight," said one resident.

But federal records indicate the Shiloh Treatment Center has received more than $5 million in federal money from the U.S. Office of Refugee Settlement. The office helps place undocumented children crossing into the U.S.

"The federal government doesn't care what a commissioners court in a county of Texas has to say," said a federal judge.

Workers inside the facility are not answering questions. Instead they referred us to the Department of Health and Human Services to learn when and if the children may be placed here.

HHS released a statement which read, "HHS is engaging with state officials to address concerns they may have about the care or impact of unaccompanied children in their states...while making sure the children are treated humanely and consistent with the law as they go through immigration court proceedings."

Residents with whom we spoke stand divided on the issue.

"I mean we can't even help the people in our own country, so why do we keep helping everyone else?" one resident said.

"There are a million questions unanswered, but in the meantime they've got to be fed, they've got to be warm, they have to be taken care of," said resident Martie Ousley.

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