TEXAS, USA — Texas Senator John Cornyn has received a breakdown of numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the unaccompanied children crossing the border.
The numbers reflect the capacity of the various locations opened up in the U.S. to accept the migrant children.
Nine facilities have been announced or opened from Feb. 19 to March 25.
While the majority of the facilities are located within Texas, one location that opened on March 24 was at the San Diego Convention Center.
The Midland facility was one of the first two planned, with the other being the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. Midland's capacity is listed in Cornyn's tweet as being 700, while the Dallas center reportedly has 2,300 beds.
However, while the requests to house these children in these locations were made back in February, many officials including Governor Greg Abbott were not made aware of it until March 14. The migrant children arrived at the Midland facility early in the morning of March 15.
HHS also originally said they would not be bringing more children to the facility due to a high COVID-positivity rate and a lack of potable water. However, Congressman August Pfluger said another bus of migrants was being shipped to Midland as of Wednesday evening. Midland Mayor Patrick Payton said 21 new children were brought in.
According to the numbers provided to Cornyn, the currently announced facilities can hold a total of 15,602 children.
More and more facilities are being announced, with three new facilities announced on March 25 including two in San Antonio.
Cornyn's numbers from the HHS also reflect a large gap between the first three facilities planned in February and the announcement of the next six in March.
Here is the full list of facilities with capacity and dates as provided by Sen. Cornyn:
- Feb. 22, opened: Carrizo Springs Influx Care Facility (Carrizo Springs, Texas), 952 beds
- Feb. 19, opened: Midland, Texas, 700 beds
- Feb. 19, opened: Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (Dallas, Texas), 2300 beds
- Mar. 20, announced: Target Lodge Pecos North (Pecos, Texas), 2000 beds
- Mar. 23, announced: second Carrizo Springs facility (Carrizo Springs, Texas), 500 beds
- Mar. 24, announced: San Diego Convention Center (San Diego, California), 1400 beds
- Mar. 25, announced: Fort Bliss (El Paso, Texas), 5000 beds
- Mar. 25, announced: Joint Base San Antonio Lackland (San Antonio, Texas), 350 beds
- Mar. 25, announced: Freeman Expo Center (San Antonio, Texas), 2400 beds
"The border patrol has told me, you cannot build enough facilities to get ahead of the flood of people that are going to come in. So this, I think if the administration thinks they have this under control then they're sadly mistaken," Cornyn said.
Cornyn also stated in a Zoom meeting that the HHS's focus is currently on taking care of the children and connecting them with host families.