THE ANGELS – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS in English) has reiterated this Saturday that it has “zero tolerance” for any form of sexual abuse, sexual harassment or any inappropriate behavior against unaccompanied children who are in its custody.
In a statement sent Saturday, an HHS official said the Department “has zero tolerance for all forms of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual behavior in unaccompanied childcare facilities.”
The statements come after Texas Governor Greg Abbott warned that he had received reports from the Health and Human Services Commission and the state Department of Family and Protective Services about alleged sexual abuse and child neglect at an immigration facility in San Antonio.
“The (President Joe) Biden Administration must immediately close this facility, and the children in it must be transferred to other federal facilities where the Government has the space, staff and resources to ensure their safety,” Abbot said. at a press conference last Wednesday.
The Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas, currently houses about 1,300 migrant children, as the state experiences an increase in illegal crossings from the Mexican border.
Abbott has made numerous strong criticisms of the Biden Administration for its handling of the immigration situation at the border.
The HHS official said in the statement that “we will continue to investigate any incident that affects children’s health, well-being and safety.”
He added that the Biden government “will take appropriate action” against employees found guilty of abuse, including disciplinary action, dismissal and reports to the appropriate investigative entities, among others.
According to HHS data as of this Friday, there were 16,941 unaccompanied minors in their custody in shelters or centers adapted for processing.
About 4,000 minors are currently under the protection of Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
This Thursday the Government reported that in March it had intercepted a record number of minors at the southern border unaccompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
The 18,890 minors found last month, double the number in February (9,431), are only a part of the 172,000 migrants intercepted in the border with Mexico and who, for the most part, are expelled from the country.