MCALLEN, Texas – Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter said he’s concerned, particularly with the health and safety of migrant children crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S.
The Republican lawmaker, who is also a pharmacist, Facetimed with News4Jax from McAllen, Texas, the site of one of the three Department of Homeland Security facilities in the Lone Star State, holding migrants stopped at the Mexico border.
“That facility has the capacity of 250. Two-five-zero,” Carter said. “Today they had 3,500 people there. Of that 3,500 people, 2,700 were children.”
Carter is also a member of the Doctor’s Caucus on Capitol Hill, a small group that came to witness the health care being given to the unaccompanied children crossing the border.
“They are doing a good job, I’ll tell you that, taking care of them. However, the overcrowding is just ridiculous,” Carter said. “The pods where they keep the children, they are intended to have a capacity of 33 people. In the pods that we saw today, they had 400 children in them. Four-hundred.”
While the Biden administration is leaning on a public health law invoked by the Trump administration to quickly turn away migrants encountered at the U.S./Mexico border, unaccompanied migrant children are not being expelled.
In a letter sent to Vice President Kamala Harris, Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, wrote of reports that some children were being abused.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said so far, no evidence of that has been found.
“We are looking into these allegations. We take them seriously, and our focus remains on the safety and well-being of children,” Psaki said during a news briefing.
With so many people packed into the holding facilities, Carter cites another concern at the site in McAllen: COVID-19.
“Over 10 percent of the people there, of the children there are testing COVID positive,” Carter said. “They were doing their best to separate them, they had separate rooms for those who had tested COVID positive, but at the same time, it was almost impossible for them to do that.