WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – After Gov. Greg Abbott said he received reports from state agencies about allegations of child abuse and neglect at a Texas migrant facility, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be investigating the claims, according to the White House.
Abbott on Wednesday called for the facility at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio to be shut down as authorities investigate the allegations.READ MORE: Texas Police Chiefs Oppose Constitutional Carry Bills Championed By State GOP
In a statement to CNN, a White House spokesperson said: “The Biden Administration takes the safety and well-being of children in its care very seriously. Currently we see no basis for Governor Abbott’s call to shut down the San Antonio Freeman Coliseum as an intake site, however, his claims will be looked into and investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services.”
Speaking in front of the Freeman Coliseum Wednesday, Abbott said he received reports from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services regarding these alleged acts.
Abbott said the agencies reported that there is not enough staff at the Freeman Coliseum to supervise the children, some children are not eating throughout the day and children with COVID-19 are not being separated from those without the virus.
“The Biden Administration must immediately shut down this facility, and the children in this facility should be moved to other federally run facilities where the government has the space, personnel and resources to ensure their safety,” Abbott said.READ MORE: Ted Cruz Says MLB Moved All-Star Game Out Of Georgia Based On ‘Pile Of Lies’
“The Biden Administration caused this crisis… and has repeatedly failed to address it,” the governor added. “The administration failed to plan for the influx of children that they invited to come. Now they face allegations of despicable child abuse and neglect. This must end.”
Abbott said he directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Rangers to investigate the allegations.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, also responded to the allegations and called for a federal investigation.
“Unaccompanied children that arrive at our border have already endured dangerous conditions at home and a treacherous journey to get here,” Cornyn said. “The fact that any child would experience abuse in the care of the U.S. government is despicable. The HHS Inspector General must fully investigate these allegations and the treatment of children at this facility.”
The Freeman Coliseum is currently housing around 1,300 migrant children as the state continues see an increase in illegal crossings at the southern border with Mexico.MORE NEWS: Fort Worth Firefighter Hurt Rescuing Critically Injured Fire Victim
Various sites in areas like El Paso, Midland and Dallas were set up by the federal government in order to house migrant children temporarily.