HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) —
A building in downtown Houston may end up housing unaccompanied minors who have crossed the border, or children separated from their undocumented adult family members.
The building is the former Star of Hope Women’s and Children’s Facility at the corner of Prairie and Emancipation Avenue.
The non-profit Southwest Keys confirmed to Eyewitness News that they intend to open the facility to house up to 240 young children.
Regarding downtown Houston facility for separated children: @TexasDFPS says it has received application seeking to serve 240 boys and girls from 0 to 17 years old from Southwest Keys. State is reviewing the application. See full statement in pic 👇🏼👇🏼 #abc13 pic.twitter.com/Ztk4i9RSpU
— Miya Shay (@ABC13Miya) June 18, 2018
"It’s troubling. Troubling that we’re going to have kids separated from their parents without knowing where their parents are, right in the heart of Houston," said Cesar Espinoza with FIEL.
Houston’s local organization FIEL has actively protested against the proposed facility.
"We don’t want this baby jail here, we don’t want any baby jails. We should not have a reason for baby jails. So, this at the root of the problem, is the Trump policy of separating children from their families," State Sen. Sylvia Garcia.
When images of similar facilities in McAllen, Texas were released Monday morning, local Democrat leaders became eager to keep the facility from ever opening.
But not everyone sees the proposed center as an unwelcoming sight. The Harris County Republican Party pointed out that parents crossing the border illegally must be prosecuted, and during their prosecution, their children must go somewhere.
"They’re being provided healthcare, education and medical attention. They’re being provided an environment where they can be safe and be supervised to ensure they are properly cared for," Republican activist Vlad Davidiuk said
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