Feds to House 3K Migrant Teens at Dallas Convention Center

Cots are staged for setup as Texas Army National Guardsmen set up a field hospital in resp
File Photo: Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool

Federal officials will utilize the Dallas Convention Center to house up to 3,000 unaccompanied migrant teens to respond to the overwhelming numbers crossing the border. Dallas officials notified city council members to the Department of Health and Human Services’ intent to utilize the convention center to house 15- to 17-year-old unaccompanied migrants for as much as 90 days.

The Associated Press reported from a leaked memo from Dallas officials to city council members saying the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will start, later this week, housing migrant teen apprehended at the border. Officials described the temporary shelter as a “decompression center.”

The Washington Post cited two unnamed Department of Homeland Security officials who said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will operate the facility at the city’s convention center. The officials called it “an emergency measure the Biden administration is taking to alleviate extreme overcrowding at border facilities in South Texas,” the article states.

HHS officials did not specifically acknowledge plans to utilize the Dallas Convention Center in an email response to our inquiry.

HHS officials responded:

As a result of the compelling need to minimize [unaccompanied children] presence at CBP facilities and to provide a much more suitable environment and improved conditions at [Office of Refugee Resettlement] facilities relative to CBP facilities, HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is opening an Emergency Intake Site in Midland, Texas on Sunday, March 14, 2021. The site in Midland, Texas offers hard-sided shelter space for the children.

The immediate need for the Emergency Intake Site is the result of the rapid increase in the pace of referrals of UC from DHS to ORR for care. The site will provide a safer and less over-crowded environment where children are cared for and processed as quickly as possible and either released to a sponsor or transferred to an ORR shelter for longer-term care.  The Emergency Intake Site is intended for use as a temporary measure.

The Emergency Intake Site will provide required standards of care for children such as providing clean and comfortable sleeping quarters, meals, toiletries, laundry, and access to medical services. A COVID-19 health screening protocol for all children will be implemented to follow CDC guidelines for preventing and controlling communicable diseases. Services will be provided by a combination of the American Red Cross, contractors, and federal staff – including teams from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

The move to Dallas follows the secretive operation to move busloads of migrant teens to a former oil field workmans’ camp in Midland, Texas, on Saturday night, Breitbart Texas reported.

Breitbart Texas reached out to the Office of the Texas Governor for information about the operation that led to moving the children into the facility during overnight hours. An official said the Biden Administration is not forthcoming with information regarding the border crisis and the movement of these migrant children. Abbott received information about the plans late on Saturday night.

Breitbart Texas reached out to Breitbart reached out to Dallas County and City of Dallas officials regarding any plans they may have to work with HHS officials to provide shelter space.

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax responded, “We are committed to working with our federal partners to accommodate the request to utilize our facilities. Collective action is necessary and we will do our best to support this humanitarian effort.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with a statement from Dallas City Manager T.C. Brodnax.


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