© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Asylum seekers from Central America, who were transported by plane from McAllen to El Paso, Texas, and deported from the United States, in Ciudad Juarez
By Ted Hesson and Kristina Cooke
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some families immigrating to the United States will be staying in hotels under a new program run by nonprofits, according to two people familiar with the plan, a move to leave for-profit detention centers have been criticized by Democrats and health professionals.
Endeavors, a San Antonio-based organization, will oversee what it calls “family reception sites” at hotels in Texas and Arizona, two sources said. The organization, in partnership with other nonprofits, will initially provide up to 1,400 beds in seven different branded hotels for families deemed vulnerable to being captured at the border.
The opening of reception centers will mark a significant change for the administration of President Joe Biden, a Democrat, from the detention of immigrant families in for-profit institutions.
In January, Biden issued an order directing the Justice Department not to renew contracts with privately run crime detention facilities. However, the order does not address immigration prisons operated by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE (NYSE :)).
ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to ICE data, about 900 migrants are currently being held at two family detention centers in Texas. A third hub in Pennsylvania is no longer used to accommodate homes.
The number of immigrants arriving at the US-Mexico border has increased in recent weeks as Biden has abandoned some of the tough policies of former Republican President Donald Trump.
Biden, who took office on January 20, has faced criticism from the Republican party for reversing those policies. At the same time, some Democrats opposed Biden’s administration reopening a Trump-era emergency shelter for children.
The hotel’s websites, scheduled to open in April, will offer COVID-19 testing, medical care, food and beverage services, and a social worker and case manager to assist. travel and destinations, according to two sources, who have requested anonymity to discuss the matter. Staff will be trained to work with children.
It remains unclear whether migrants are required to wear ankles or under any other form of surveillance.
The families will go to border patrol stations and then be taken to the hotel location to continue immigration paperwork, now carried out at Customs and Border Protection facilities, two sources said. world (CBP) of America. They can leave the intake center as early as six hours after arrival if the paperwork is complete, the test results negative for COVID-19 and transportation has been arranged.
The housing of some of the migrants in hotels was reported earlier by Axios on Saturday.
The efforts will also operate a new 2,000-bed shelter for unaccompanied children in Texas, the sources said.
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