May 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Shelter for migrant children at Dallas convention center set to close

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

An emergency shelter for migrant adolescent boys at the downtown Dallas Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center is expected to shut down in the next two weeks, the Dallas Morning News reports citing information from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The state of play: The unlicensed shelter once housed roughly 2,300 minors, but has since reduced its population to about 200. Its imminent closure comes after nearly 10 weeks of operation, per the Dallas Morning News.

The big picture: The Dallas shelter opened in March to house up to 3,000 teenage boys ages 15 to 17 amid an uptick in border crossings that strained sheltering capacities along the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Approximately 17,000 minors who traveled without a parent or guardian were apprehended in April. Another 19,000 arrived the month prior.
  • In the first three months of President Biden's term in office, over 45,000 unaccompanied minors have entered the U.S.
  • HHS and the Department of Homeland Security released data about transfers and children in their care on Tuesday, saying 19,300 minors are currently in their care, per the Dallas Morning News.

Of note: Even as the Dallas site shrinks, others are growing. A Fort Bliss facility near El Paso, Texas currently houses about 4,500 migrant children. CNN reports officials are considering expanding that shelter.

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