McALLEN, Texas (AP) – When it was overwhelmed by thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children, Texas relaxed its standards for the shelters that house them.
The changes reduced the number of square feet required for each child and allowed more children to be housed per available toilet, sink and shower.
Some shelters proposed having additional kids sleep on cots — an idea that was approved. A suggestion to give them air mattresses was denied. That’s according to shelter documents obtained by The Associated Press through an open-records request.
In some ways, the response resembled the reaction to a hurricane, with federally contracted shelters asking the state licensing agency to temporarily bend some regulations to accommodate a large population.
More than 57,000 children entered the U.S. illegally between October and June without a parent or guardian.
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