The diatribe between conservatives and Democrats over immigration measures in the U.S. seems to have no end. Now it is the governments of states like Texas that appear to be taking retaliatory action.
As reported by the New York Times, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has instructed state officials to end contracts with the Biden administration for the state’s shelters that take in children and teens who have been arriving alone at the southwest border.
“The Biden administration’s immigration policies are failing Texans, causing a humanitarian crisis in many Texas communities along the border,” Abbott, a Republican who has been calling for Biden to crack down on illegal immigration, said in the order, issued Monday.
The move would effectively force the approximately 4,000 migrant children currently housed in federal facilities in Texas to return to the overcrowded and under-resourced emergency shelters that have made headlines for the past several years.
“If the governor actually implements the order, it could displace more than 4,000 children,” said Leecia Welch, a lawyer and the senior director of the legal advocacy and child welfare practice at the National Center for Youth Law, to the New York Times. “And it would impact many more in the future given that many licensed beds are currently unused. At best, it’s creating a big mess, and it could be a total disaster.”
Although the Department of Health and Human Services said it is reviewing the order, the state told shelters that, by the end of August, “you must wind down any operations at your child-care facility that provide care under a federal contract to individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”