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Facility for teen immigrant girls in Houston closes, hundreds of unaccompanied minors moved

Biden Cabinet HHS
Posted at 12:17 PM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 15:55:46-04

HOUSTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services removed about 450 immigrant girls from a facility in Houston over the weekend, closing the site.

HHS said the girls were removed from the Emergency Intake Site for Unaccompanied Children operated by the National Association of Christian Churches where they were housed since April 1.

The agency says the site was intended as a temporary location and the girls will be paired with a sponsor or connected with the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Media reports indicate there were allegations that the non-profit running the facility had failed to provide adequate living conditions. ABC News reports the allegations include there were not enough toilet facilities and staffing shortages, in addition the Houston Chronicle reports the site was overcrowded and unable to comply with coronavirus pandemic-related distancing policies.

A HHS IT specialist working at the facility died on Friday, the Washington Post reports the woman collapsed while working and could not be revived. HHS officials say there is no connection between the employee's death and the closure of the facility.