Gov. Abbott sends letter to VP Harris demanding shut down of migrant facility in San Antonio

‘Our repeated warnings and questions have gone ignored,’ governor says in letter

Gov. Greg Abbott holds a news conference in San Antonio.
Gov. Greg Abbott holds a news conference in San Antonio.

AUSTIN, Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday sent a letter to Vice President Kamala Harris demanding that the Biden Administration shut down the federally run unaccompanied minor facility in San Antonio.

In the letter, Abbott included a memo from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission that summarizes the allegations of sexual assault, bullying, understaffing, and disregard for COVID-19 protocols within the facility at the Freeman Coliseum.

“The State of Texas previously warned about overcrowded conditions at these facilities, and now those conditions have led to allegations of child abuse and neglect,” Abbott said in the letter. “Our repeated warnings and questions have gone ignored by President Biden, yourself, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas. In your role as Border Czar, you have a duty to these children and the American people to act immediately. I implore you to act immediately to protect these children, secure the border, and end this crisis.”

The Biden Administration has refused Abbott’s calls for the shutdown.

“The Biden Administration takes the safety and well-being of children in its care very seriously. Currently, we see no basis for Governor Abbott’s call to shut down the San Antonio Freeman Coliseum as an intake site, however, his claims will be looked into and investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services,” Ike Hajinazrian, a White House regional spokesperson, said following Abbott’s news conference on Wednesday.

Abbott last week sent a letter Harris demanding answers and swift action from the Biden Administration to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the border. In the letter, the governor also urged Harris to visit the border to see the situation for herself.

On March 6, Abbott announced Operation Lone Star to send law enforcement personnel and resources to high-threat areas along the border. On March 17, he expanded the operation to include anti-human trafficking efforts.

You can read the letter in its entirety below:

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