US: Private contractor building new shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in El Paso - - PressFrom - US
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US Private contractor building new shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in El Paso

08:05  09 november  2019
08:05  09 november  2019 Source:   elpasotimes.com

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Private equity firm DC Capital, where former White House chief of staff John Kelly was a board member In July 2017, border officials in El Paso , Texas, implemented policies requiring that minors be No doubt, there are critics skeptical of a for-profit business running shelters for migrant children .

Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children is a 3,200-bed migrant children 's detention center in Homestead, Florida.

A new shelter to house unaccompanied migrant children is being planned for El Paso, according to county and local employment service officials.

Caliburn International plans to build a 500-bed shelter that would house migrant children on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, according to County Judge Ricardo Samaniego.

It wasn't immediately clear Friday the cost or duration of the contract.

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The migrant - shelter business has been booming since family separations began on a large scale last month After the new policy, the contractors put in new beds and expanded beyond their licensed Images of children in chain-link cages and pens that have circulated online recently are mainly taken

Thousands of migrant children continue to arrive at the Southern border every month, without their parents, to ask for asylum. The Homestead "temporary influx facility" is the biggest and most controversial shelter for migrant children in the country.

In July, Congress passed a $4.5 billion supplemental appropriation, including $2 billion to HHS, to pay for humanitarian assistance and border security at a time of heightened immigration at the southern border.

El Paso became the focus of a national spotlight on the plight of unaccompanied minors after attorneys and immigrant advocates reported overcrowded and unsanitary conditions at Border Patrol's Clint station.

According to Caliburn's website, the company is hiring a clinical counselor, supervisors for three different shifts, teachers, a housekeeper, a cook and procurement specialist among other positions for a shelter called "Trail House."

The facility is being built in far east El Paso and is expected to begin operating this winter, Samaniego, said.

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Shelter in the Storm. Southwest Key was a model shelter for migrant kids. Once Trump’s family separation The wave of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border, which President Obama that summer Photos of children in chain-link fence cages were also from federal facilities.

Annunciation House, the main shelter for migrants in El Paso , is opening a new building to house Monica Ortiz Uribe joins us from El Paso where the main volunteer group, Annunciation House ORTIZ URIBE: Yeah. They're a local nonprofit shelter network that runs entirely off private donations.

Samaniego said he saw the renderings for the facility, which include rooms in a cottage-like setting, green spaces and a soccer field. He was approached by company representatives a couple of months ago, when they came to El Paso to meet local community leaders, he said.

a child looking through a fence: Six unaccompanied minors were among a group of Guatemalans who crossed the river into El Paso Tuesday. Four young sisters were on their way to find their mother in the Boston area. © Mark Lambie / El Paso Times Six unaccompanied minors were among a group of Guatemalans who crossed the river into El Paso Tuesday. Four young sisters were on their way to find their mother in the Boston area.

"I don’t know how the community perception is going to be as to whether we are catering to these activities, but the best thing we could do is ensure that if these facilities are going to come into our communities, that we are right there, that we can engage," he said.

A Border Patrol spokesman said the El Paso sector hadn't received information about the facility.

The number of children in HHS custody has declined since the peak in June, when the agency had 13,123 unaccompanied minors in its care nationwide and Border Patrol stations were overcrowded with kids awaiting placement. That number dropped 41% by the end of August, to 7,751.

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Migrant children in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Placement Center in Nogales, AZ. The Trump administration is looking to build tent cities at military posts around Texas to shelter the increasing number of unaccompanied migrant children being held in detention.

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Caliburn is the holding company of Comprehensive Health Services, a for-profit operator of migrant youth shelters. The company ran a controversial temporary shelter with space for more than 2,400 teenagers in Homestead, Florida, during the height of the influx. The operation faced numerous protests and was decried by Democrats on Capitol Hill.

In a congressional hearing in July, HHS said the agency needs up to 20,000 beds in permanent, state-licensed shelters nationwide to ensure that migrant children aren't left in border holding cells, sleeping on concrete floors.

a group of people sitting at a bus stop: Six unaccompanied minors were among a group of Guatemalans who crossed the river into El Paso Tuesday. Four young sisters were on their way to find their mother in the Boston area. © Mark Lambie / El Paso Times Six unaccompanied minors were among a group of Guatemalans who crossed the river into El Paso Tuesday. Four young sisters were on their way to find their mother in the Boston area.

“We should not wait and then respond to surges in a crisis management system,” Lynn Johnson, assistant secretary of the HHS Administration for Children and Families (ACF), told Congress in July.

“We should be prepared because this continues to happen over administration to administration," she said. "We should always have these beds available so we don’t have to put kids in influx shelters.”

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WASHINGTON — The United States is preparing to shelter as many as 20,000 migrant children It was unclear whether the military housing would also house the parents of children in migrant Last week, federal officials opened a tent city outside El Paso to house up to 360 immigrant teenagers in

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Leila Melendez, chief operating officer for Workforce Solutions Borderplex, said contractors with the federal government visited El Paso in late October. The contractors were in town to check on the construction of the facility and to meet with local agencies.

The contractors wanted to know what services workforce solutions could provide to help staff the facility, Melendez added.

Aaron Montes contributed to this report. He is a watchdog reporter and can be reached at [email protected]

Lauren Villagran covers the border and can be reached at [email protected]

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This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: Private contractor building new shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in El Paso

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