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U.S. to place some migrant families in hotels in move away from detention centers

WorldMar 20, 2021 10:25PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Asylum-seeking migrants in Penitas, Texas 2/2

By Ted Hesson and Kristina Cooke

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some migrant families arriving in the United States will be housed in hotels under a new program managed by nonprofit organizations, according to two people familiar with the plans, a move away from for-profit detention centers that have been criticized by Democrats and health experts.

Endeavors, a San Antonio-based organization, will oversee what it calls "family reception sites" at hotels in Texas and Arizona, the two sources said. The organization, in partnership with other nonprofits, will initially provide beds in seven different brand-name hotels for families deemed vulnerable when caught at the border.

Tae Johnson, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE (NYSE:ICE)), said the agency had signed a short-term, $86.9 million contract with Endeavors to provide temporary shelter and processing services for migrant families. The contract provides 1,239 beds and other necessary services, he said in a statement.

The opening of the reception centers would mark a significant shift by the administration of President Joe Biden, a Democrat, away from the detention of migrant families in for-profit facilities.

In January, Biden issued an order directing the Justice Department not to renew its contracts with privately operated criminal detention facilities. However, the order did not address immigration jails run by ICE.

Roughly 1,200 migrants were being held in two family detention centers in Texas as of Wednesday, according to an ICE spokeswoman. A third center in Pennsylvania is no longer being used to hold families.

The number of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has climbed in recent weeks as Biden has rolled back some of the hard-line policies of former President Donald Trump, a Republican.

Biden, who took office on Jan. 20, has faced criticism from Republicans for reversing those policies. At the same time, some Democrats opposed Biden's administration reopening a Trump-era emergency shelter for children.

The hotel sites, set to open in April, will offer COVID-19 testing, medical care, food services, social workers and case managers to help with travel and onward destinations, according to the two sources, who requested anonymity to discuss the matter. Staff will be trained to work with children.

It remained unclear whether migrants would be required to wear ankle bracelets or be subject to any other form of monitoring, the people said.

The families will arrive at Border Patrol stations and then be sent to the hotel sites to continue immigration paperwork, the two sources said. They could leave the reception centers as early as six hours after arrival if paperwork is completed, they test negative for COVID-19 and transportation has been arranged.

Biden officials have said migrant families will be "expelled" to Mexico or their home countries under a Trump-era health order known as Title 42. But more than half of the 19,000 family members caught at the border in February were not expelled, with many released into the United States.

“Our border is not open,” ICE’s Johnson said in the statement. “The majority of individuals continue to be expelled under the Centers for Disease Control’s public health authority.”

The housing of some migrants in hotels was reported by Axios earlier on Saturday.

Endeavors will also operate a new 2,000-bed shelter for unaccompanied children in Texas, the sources said.

The Biden administration has struggled to house a rising number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. There were more than 5,000 unaccompanied children in crowded border facilities as of Saturday, according to government data seen by Reuters.

The new family and child facilities are expected to ramp up bed capacity gradually, the people familiar with the effort said.

 

U.S. to place some migrant families in hotels in move away from detention centers
 

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Comments (12)
William Smith
William Smith Mar 21, 2021 6:42PM ET
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The American hating leftists in control in Washington have intentionally set America on a path to become a 3rd World S. Hole in the next 10 years led by the supreme American haters Soros and Obama.
Red Riley
Red Riley Mar 21, 2021 6:26PM ET
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embarrassing joke this admin.
RichUncle Pennybags
RichUncle Pennybags Mar 21, 2021 6:45AM ET
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A border town infrastructure project to collect and process them is the only real solution. The racist children below have the iq of five year olds so dont bother reading further.
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Mar 21, 2021 2:15AM ET
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Obama built the cages in 2014. Now he wants families (i guess with young kids for potential syndicates) to be housed in hotels. Interesting, as there are millions of US citizens dying on the streets, yet they get nothing.
David David
David9 Mar 21, 2021 1:50AM ET
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These people are here to make a living. They also support our economy. Americans are too lazy to work these jobs so it is good for these people to help us here...
Gene Kret
Gene Kret Mar 21, 2021 1:50AM ET
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What else does your crystal ball say? The US unemployment rate is higher than a year ago. But, yes you are right and dont cry when your taxes go up and your helping your kids pay for school while these gate crashers get educated for free.
RichUncle Pennybags
RichUncle Pennybags Mar 21, 2021 1:50AM ET
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Gene Kret his name is david wong, hes actually a chinese citizen. Only hours he posts is chinas 9 to 6
Juan San
Juan San Mar 21, 2021 1:29AM ET
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Completely fake news...they are having to do this because the border facilities are over max capacity. Biden's policies have caused a humanitarian crisis...the kid cages are full...hence they are now having to use your tax dollar to put these people in hotels, meanwhile there are starving and homeless legal citizens in democrat-run cities across the country.
Gene Kret
Gene Kret Mar 21, 2021 1:29AM ET
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Very good Juan
Adrian White
Adrian White Mar 21, 2021 1:29AM ET
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Wrong, Juan San, they are not using tax dollars. Did you actually read the article, or you just got triggered by the headline? A non-profit organization is paying for the hotels, not your tax dollars.
CHAD TENDIES
CHAD TENDIES Mar 21, 2021 12:27AM ET
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Lol these articles are intentionally trying to fear monger and make people afraid of immigrants. The true enemy is the central bank.
Juan San
Juan San Mar 21, 2021 12:27AM ET
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People are afraid of reckless government spending and socialism, and a majoritarian crisis that Biden has already created at the border.
Gene Kret
Gene Kret Mar 21, 2021 12:27AM ET
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Hey Chad, save your response so when your 65 you can look back and see how ill informed you were....try not to drink the Dem cool aid. By the way do you speak Spanish yet?
Adrian White
Adrian White Mar 21, 2021 12:27AM ET
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It's not the articles that are 'fear-mongering'. It's all the Trumpanzees with their reactionary comments here who are fear-mongering.
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy Mar 20, 2021 11:58PM ET
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They wouldn't come to America if employers weren't giving their families jobs knowing what they are doing. Arrest and blame the employers. 2nd) Work with Mexico to build a border city on the Mexico side. They obviously don't mind immigrants as they let so many roam around freely. Since they are citizens of their own countries still put them to work on the same jobs prisoners do for the wages they'd be paid in their country, or let them build their own industry in that border town.  Give them 100 days to make their case. If they can, put them on the list behind people following proper channels. If they can't send them back and make the penalty for multiple attempts to cross the border illegally very harsh.
John Healy
John Healy Mar 20, 2021 4:41PM ET
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Meanwhile, there are homeless U.S. veterans on the street. This is shameful.
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy Mar 20, 2021 4:41PM ET
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There are lots of jobs here.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Mar 20, 2021 12:49PM ET
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If any person in US is arrested for any crime they are separated from their children. Why any different with illegal immigrants? Biden admin is set in destroy America by allowing illegal immigration to go unbothered.
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy
AmericaIsKing oftheGalaxy Mar 20, 2021 12:49PM ET
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You trumpians and your fake news.  People get arrested all the time in America who aren't separated from their children.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Mar 20, 2021 12:46PM ET
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Illegal immigration being rewarded by the Biden admin.
Casey Connor
Casey Connor Mar 20, 2021 12:04PM ET
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Invasion of parasites
 
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