Migrant Children In Emergency Facilities Have Limited Access To Family Phone Calls And Case Managers, Lawyers Say

Migrant children in two emergency housing sites in Texas managed by the U.S. government have limited access to case managers, phone calls to family, outside recreation and education, attorneys who inspected the facilities told CBS News.

However, the attorneys said the two makeshift shelters overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Dallas and Midland, Texas, are safe and sanitary, and are much better settings for migrant children than overcrowded, jail-like Border Patrol facilities. The children at the HHS facilities expressed relief at being transferred out of Border Patrol custody, the attorneys said, citing interviews with more than a dozen migrant minors.

Unlike shelters and foster care programs overseen by HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, emergency and influx housing facilities are not licensed by state authorities to house children and are not subject to the same standards of care. Attorneys said they worry about whether there are any written policies governing the care of children at the sites they toured.

By Camilo Montoya-Galvez for CBS NEWS
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