Both facilities are settled in Texas and will get their first group of unaccompanied children on Monday, who will be carried out of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office on Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
One of the facilities will be placed at Target Lodge Pecos North property in Pecos, Texas, and will take in 125 children on Monday. The Pecos facility will house 13 to 17-year-old boys and girls and has a potential capacity of 2,000 beds.
The other facility will be located at Carrizo Springs, Texas, and will have a latent space of 440 beds.
These facilities will join a growing list of emergency intake sites and overflow facilities available to take in unaccompanied minors who enter the country illegally without an adult.
The administration has been opening up such facilities to address the notable flood of illegal border crossings in recent weeks. It is trying to build capacity for 13,500 beds, with the possibility for extra capacity to meet what has been a constant stream of unaccompanied minors coming across the border.
“HHS is aggressively working with its interagency partners to ensure that UC is safe and unified with family members or other suitable sponsors as quickly and safely as possible,” the department said.
During the month of March, Border Patrol apprehended more than 150,000 illegal border crossers—50,000 more than February—according to former CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan.
A further 30,000 evaded capture, according to Morgan, who has received provisional CBP numbers from internal sources.
Lawmakers have taken issue with President Joe Biden’s rhetoric to Central Americans looking for possibilities to emigrate to the United States and are asking for instant action to address what is a developing humanitarian crisis. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) late last week floated the idea of a 90-day moratorium on immigration as a way of sending a message that would discourage those trying to enter the United States illegally.
“Something has to be done and it has to be expedited,” Manchin told reporters at a press conference. “This problem is not going away. This problem will not cure itself, I can assure you, and they’re coming in droves.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Monday once again urged infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci to visit the U.S.-Mexico border to determine whether Biden administration policies are undercutting the nation’s herculean efforts to control the spread of COVID-19.
“Is the Biden Administration undermining the work to stop the spread of COVID-19 with the current policies and procedures in place? I think so, but you [Dr. Fauci] are the expert,” Graham said in his letter.