As the number of migrant children in government custody reached a record high late last year, HHS was slated to pay up to $367.9 million between mid-September and December to operate the shelter, according to federal records.
“As of this weekend the last group of unaccompanied alien children will have been transferred or discharged from the Tornillo” facility, Lynn Johnson, assistant secretary of HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, said in a statement.
Of these, 300 were transferred to other facilities and the rest were released to sponsors, usually relatives, who had been vetted by the government, according to Evy Ramos, spokeswoman for BCFS, the San Antonio nonprofit that runs the camp.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the care of migrant children, said all the children who were held at Tornillo have been either released to an appropriate sponsor or transferred to other shelters.
Maria Sacchetti Reporter covering immigrant communities and Immigration and Customs Enforcement January 11 at 5:00 PM The Trump administration has removed all teenagers from a massive tent camp in Texas for unaccompanied migrant teens caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, weeks after a federal watchdog warned about “serious safety and health” concerns at the facility.
On Tuesday, there were 10,944 migrant children held in the government's network of shelters, foster homes and detention centers, according to confidential government data obtained and cross-checked by AP.
The Tornillo facility opened in June in an isolated pocket of the Texas desert with capacity for 360 children.
The nonprofit running what became the nation's largest detention camp for migrant teenagers says they are closing down the facility and the last children left on Friday TORNILLO, Texas (AP) — The nonprofit running what once was the largest U.S. detention camp housing migrant teenagers said the last children left the facility Friday.
Federal law requires Border Patrol agents to quickly turn over unaccompanied minors to one of more than 100 shelters nationwide overseen by HHS’s Administration for Children and Families.
"Though Tornillo is on a path toward closure, influx facilities like Tornillo are necessary," said Lynn Johnson, an assistant secretary at the department, referring to the agency's need to expand and contract its shelter capacity depending on the number of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.