White House: Detained Migrant Children Enjoy Access to ‘Journaling’ and ‘Dance’ in Texas Camp

Young unaccompanied migrants, ages 3-9 sit inside a playpen at the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley in Donna, Texas, March 30, 2021. The youngest of the unaccompanied minors are kept separate from the rest of the …
DARIO LOPEZ-MILLS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images/Insert: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

The White House defended conditions at a migrant detention facility in Pecos, Texas, for unaccompanied minors on Tuesday, despite reported complaints.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said migrants in the facility have access to health care and services, including opportunities for recreation.

“The children receive educational and recreational activities including reading, art, indoor and outdoor games, journaling, and dance,” she added.

Some children in the facility complained of raw food, hard potatoes, clothes getting lost in the laundry, and drinking water they did not like, according to a CNN report.

But Psaki defend the conditions, highlighting access to “laundry service, calls to home, and appointments with legal and counseling.”

“Currently the children at the intake site at Pecos meet with a case manager weekly,” she said.

Reports at other facilities are more serious, as some migrant youth reported terrible living conditions including disease and sexual abuse.

In April, Health and Human Services announced the opening of the Pecos facility, as part of two additional Emergency Intake Sites to process the surge in unaccompanied child migrants crossing the southern border.

The Pecos shelter houses about 800 teenagers, according to reports, where they remain detained until their release to family members or sponsors in the United States.

When asked about President Joe Biden’s plan to release child migrants more quickly out of detention, Psaki replied, “That’s always our objective.”

“We want to do that as quickly as possible,” she continued.


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