US

Midland, Texas residents furious as Biden administration houses over 500 migrants nearby

The Biden administration is paying $33million to rent a ‘man cap’ built for oil workers and engineers in Midland, Texas, to house 500 migrant youths, leaving residents disgruntled by the detention facility in their backyard. 

‘They have doctors, chefs, three square meals a day, they play soccer all day. They are living better than us. I see them in new clothing, they line up for their meals three times a day, and then play and watch TV,’ Midland resident Shon Crabtree tells DailyMail.com. 

Crabtree, 42, lives across the street from the federal government’s newest unaccompanied minor immigration detention facility that currently holds almost 500 male immigrant youths in a converted all-inclusive ‘man camp’ that was constructed in 2012 to temporarily house workers in the oil industry.

In an exclusive interview from his front yard with the detention facility just feet behind him, a clearly disgruntled Crabtree exclusively tells DailyMail.com, ‘President Biden is a piece of s***t. I blame him for all of this.’ 

The amenities here are in stark contrast to photos released by Congressman Henry Cuellar over the weekend that show a crowded migrant encampment in Texas where 400 unaccompanied male minors are being held in ‘terrible conditions’ in a space meant for half as many.

The overflowing detention center is just one extreme in the Biden administration’s easing of immigration laws as his team plans to alleviate the situation by spending more than $86million to house migrants families in hotels and other temporary centers.

About 500 migrant youth are being housed at a ‘man camp’ in Midland, Texas that was constructed in 2012 to temporarily house workers in the oil industry 

Some of the amenities listed for the Midland Man Camp are a kitchen & dining facility, hot & cold meal service, 24-hour snack & beverage service, an indoor recreation facility

Some of the amenities listed for the Midland Man Camp are a kitchen & dining facility, hot & cold meal service, 24-hour snack & beverage service, an indoor recreation facility

The camp has a billiards & lounge area, a theater with stadium-style reclining seating, a state-of-the-art workout facility, an outdoor pavilion, fire pits & covered decks, a basketball court

The camp has a billiards & lounge area, a theater with stadium-style reclining seating, a state-of-the-art workout facility, an outdoor pavilion, fire pits & covered decks, a basketball court

'Those kids are living luxury. I'm sure where they are living now is 100 times better than where they have ever lived in before,' a source said. The cafeteria is pictured

‘Those kids are living luxury. I’m sure where they are living now is 100 times better than where they have ever lived in before,’ a source said. The cafeteria is pictured 

'The food wouldn't disappoint anyone. The desserts are to die for - cakes, ice cream, pies, you name it,' a source said. Unlimited sodas, water and juices. Usually the costs that Cotton Logistics gets per guest is between $80-120 a night, all-inclusive'

‘The food wouldn’t disappoint anyone. The desserts are to die for – cakes, ice cream, pies, you name it,’ a source said. Unlimited sodas, water and juices. Usually the costs that Cotton Logistics gets per guest is between $80-120 a night, all-inclusive’

The man camp has a laundry facility, daily housekeeping, full size wardrobe, flat-screen TV with DVD Player and cable, individual heating and cooling system

The man camp has a laundry facility, daily housekeeping, full size wardrobe, flat-screen TV with DVD Player and cable, individual heating and cooling system

The man camps are built like all-inclusive hotels with five-star hospitality, wireless internet, cable TV, according to the website

The man camps are built like all-inclusive hotels with five-star hospitality, wireless internet, cable TV, according to the website

Crabtree woke up to sound of several federal vehicles and buses full of migrant children last Monday morning. 

He works in the oil industry and said he and several of his neighbors aren’t happy with the detention facility and with the Biden administration.

‘A week ago my house was worth $300K right now it’s worth zero, because of this detention facility. When I bought my house I obviously knew there was a ‘man camp’ across the street. Oilfield workers and engineers lived at the camp for periods of time. They were professional living there, I had nothing to worry about.

‘Right now with this literally in my front yard, I couldn’t sell it. There is nothing we can do, we are stuck. No one is going to want to move next to a detention facility. They are putting up wired fences, they have flood nights at night and the streets are crawling with federal vehicles.

Crabtree says since last week they’ve had problems sleeping.’The lights are shining through our windows and the sound of the generators running all night makes it hard to sleep,’ he said. 

‘And there is zero privacy, the cops generally sit right there in my front driveway, it feels like you are being watched and monitored 24/7. They have three different branches of police over there, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, and the state police. Who knows what they dug up into our lives, you just feel violated.’

Crabtree said he didn’t hear a word from state, or Federal authorities about the detention facility, ‘one day I woke up and saw federal vehicles parked out in front of my house. I asked them if there is something I needed to know about. And they said, ”We don’t think so.” I said, ”What does that mean?” And they said, ”Well, we can’t say anything.”’

He also says he’s worried about COVID from the immigrant youths. So far more than 10% of the camp’s population children has tested positive for COVID-19. At least one child has been hospitalized.

‘These kids interact with the federal officers who then interact with us. We are being put in danger.’

Not only is Crabtree wary of catching COVID-19 from the migrant children, he’s worried they may escape. A 10ft. chain link fence is being constructed around the camp but Crabtree says it should have been in place prior to the minors’ arrival.

Right now there is a small wooden 4 ft. fence that surrounds the property. Federal police vehicles are positioned outside of the facility on the roadway 24 hours a day, but that gives Crabtree little solace.

‘I’m worried about some of them escaping and coming to my house and holding my family hostage until they get what they want or taking a vehicle. We are scared.’ 

He says his wife, is especially terrified. ‘She works from home and keeps the blinds in the front windows shut all day long.’

Shon Crabtree, 42, lives across the street from the Federal Government's newest unaccompanied minor immigration detention facility and is clearly disgruntled

Shon Crabtree, 42, lives across the street from the Federal Government’s newest unaccompanied minor immigration detention facility and is clearly disgruntled

According to their website, Cotton Logistics opened their Midland facility in 2012 and has 700 beds

According to their website, Cotton Logistics opened their Midland facility in 2012 and has 700 beds

The migrant children, who appear to be 12-17 years in age, are mainly from Central America

The migrant children, who appear to be 12-17 years in age, are mainly from Central America

Red Cross volunteers watch over each individual trailer of the young men 24-hours a day, while federal police patrol the outside of the detention facility, a source claims

Red Cross volunteers watch over each individual trailer of the young men 24-hours a day, while federal police patrol the outside of the detention facility, a source claims

The migrant children, who appear to be 12-17 years in age, are mainly from Central America, which is another concern for Crabtree. ‘I’m sure there are some MS13 or Barrio 18 gang members in there.’

Crabtree says he’s been told the US Government is paying Cotton Logistics which owns the all-inclusive ‘man camp’ $33 million to rent it out for up to 12 months. 

According to their website, Cotton Logistics opened their Midland facility in 2012 and has 700 beds. The man camps are built like all-inclusive hotels with five-star hospitality, wireless internet, cable TV it says.

Crabtree says the Biden administration is sending the wrong message to illegal immigrants

Crabtree says the Biden administration is sending the wrong message to illegal immigrants

Some of the amenities listed for the Midland Man Camp are a kitchen & dining facility, hot & cold meal service, 24-hour snack & beverage service, an indoor recreation facility, a billiards & lounge area, a theater with stadium-style reclining seating, a state-of-the-art workout facility, an outdoor pavilion, fire pits & covered decks, a basketball court, laundry facility, daily housekeeping, full size wardrobe, flat-screen TV with DVD Player and cable, individual heating and cooling system.

Another neighbor who has knowledge of the facility but didn’t want to be identified exclusively told DailyMail.com.

‘With the down turn of the economy the ‘man camp’ was empty. So when they were offered millions by the Feds to house immigrant children Cotton Logistics jumped at the chance. They are getting paid millions by the government to provide for the minor children. Most of the people around here aren’t too happy with what’s going on. They think its President Biden’s way of saying ‘F you’ to the people of Texas for voting for Trump.

‘There is one federal police officer for every 50 migrant children at the camp, they’re also staying at the camp in trailers on the other side of property.

‘Those kids are living luxury. I’m sure where they are living now is 100 times better than where they have ever lived in before.

‘There are about 140 trailers on the property each trailer has 5 rooms, in each room there is a private bath and shower and bed, TV and wireless internet access and closet.

‘There is a cleaning crew of about 30 cleaning ladies that clean each unit daily. The food is very good, they serve three meals a day, breakfast buffet with eggs, bacon, waffles, and sausages. On Wednesday its steak night on the grill, on Thursdays its seafood night with catfish, shrimp and hushpuppies.

‘The food wouldn’t disappoint anyone. The desserts are to die for – cakes, ice cream, pies, you name it. Unlimited sodas, water and juices.

‘Usually the costs that Cotton Logistics gets per guest is between $80-120 a night, all-inclusive.

‘There are some problems with the water and septic system. In this area you can’t drink the tap water because of the soil so they have to haul in potable water to drink and at times they’ve had issues with the septic system backing up and flooding.

‘But even with all of these problems it’s not too shabby of a place to stay, it’s comparable to any nice hotel. Those kids won’t go without. I’m sure they are living better than they have ever lived before in their life, all on the dime of the American taxpayer.

‘Red Cross volunteers watch over each individual trailer of the young men 24-hours a day, while federal police patrol the outside of the detention facility.’

Crabtree works in the oil industry and said he and several of his neighbors aren't happy with the detention facility and with the Biden administration

Crabtree works in the oil industry and said he and several of his neighbors aren’t happy with the detention facility and with the Biden administration

Not only is Crabtree wary of catching COVID-19 from the migrant children, he’s worried they may escape. A 10ft. chain link fence is being constructed around the camp but Crabtree says it should have been in place prior to the minors’ arrival

'There is one federal police officer for every 50 migrant children at the camp, they're also staying at the camp in trailers on the other side of property,' a source said

‘There is one federal police officer for every 50 migrant children at the camp, they’re also staying at the camp in trailers on the other side of property,’ a source said 

A 10ft. chain link fence is being constructed around the camp but Crabtree says it should have been in place prior to the minors' arrival

A 10ft. chain link fence is being constructed around the camp but Crabtree says it should have been in place prior to the minors’ arrival

The kids appeared to be relaxed and enjoying themselves oblivious of the installation of a 10 ft. chain link fence and federal officers patrolling the streets outside the facility

The kids appeared to be relaxed and enjoying themselves oblivious of the installation of a 10 ft. chain link fence and federal officers patrolling the streets outside the facility

Crabtree said these kids are being treated better than our veterans. ‘A week ago they were illegally crossing into our country and now they are living it up it up with all of the food they can eat and playing soccer all day.’

On Saturday, March 20, DailyMail.com observed several minors inside of the facility, all were wearing face masks. Most of them were dressed in light grey sweatpants with a darker gray sweatshirt. They all appeared to be getting along and enjoying themselves. About 50 of them at a time played soccer on a makeshift field near their camper trailers, while Red Cross volunteers looked on.

A week ago they were illegally crossing into our country and now they are living it up it up with all of the food they can eat and playing soccer all day.

The kids appeared to be relaxed and enjoying themselves oblivious of the installation of a 10 ft. chain link fence and federal officers patrolling the streets outside the facility.

After sunset the youths retired back to their separate rooms, several of the 32-inch flatscreen TVs that each minor child had in their room were on. Some of the cabins are less than 20 ft. from the public roadway. 

At night with their TV’s on you can see in their respective windows where they were watching a variety of shows from the Disney Channel, Univision, to the local news, and the Discovery channel.

Several temporary spotlights light up the facility and surrounding area at night.

‘This detention facility is a huge waste of taxpayer’s money. This is Mexico’s problem. It wasn’t my problem, but now it is. I have this eyesore to look at every morning when I wake up,’ added Crabtree.

‘I’m going to have to spend $5K in shrubbery so when I don’t look out my window I see a prison camp. Also I’m going to have to buy a security system, camera, etc. just to make sure in case of an escape.’

‘It’s like living across the street from a prison. It’s ridiculous to have to put money into something that’s worth nothing now because of Biden. It’s socialism, its communism. It’s everything, I never thought in a million years, my government would do this.

‘And the sad part is, I really can’t do anything about it, I’d like to hire an attorney but that’s going to cost a lot of money and I don’t know what I’d get out of it in the end.’

On Saturday, March 20, DailyMail.com observed several minors inside of the facility, all were wearing face masks. Most of them were dressed in light grey sweatpants with a darker gray sweatshirt

On Saturday, March 20, DailyMail.com observed several minors inside of the facility, all were wearing face masks. Most of them were dressed in light grey sweatpants with a darker gray sweatshirt

Right now there is a small wooden 4 ft. fence that surrounds the property with federal police vehicles positioned outside of the facility on the roadway 24 hours a day

Right now there is a small wooden 4 ft. fence that surrounds the property with federal police vehicles positioned outside of the facility on the roadway 24 hours a day

Officials say that there are now more than 14,000 migrant youths being held in federal custody. It is more than three times the largest number of children held under the previous administration, which was widely criticized for putting 'kids in cages'

Officials say that there are now more than 14,000 migrant youths being held in federal custody. It is more than three times the largest number of children held under the previous administration, which was widely criticized for putting ‘kids in cages’

Potable water is pumped into new holding tanks and cases of bottle water are seen on hand at the camp

Potable water is pumped into new holding tanks and cases of bottle water are seen on hand at the camp

Homeland Security Officers are posted along the perimeter of the camp. As of February of this year 29,792 unaccompanied children have crossed the border without their parents according to CBP data

Homeland Security Officers are posted along the perimeter of the camp. As of February of this year 29,792 unaccompanied children have crossed the border without their parents according to CBP data

But Crabtree has some choice words for President Biden saying, ‘He’s a puppet, there is nothing you can say to that guy that would matter. He’s just a big puppet.’

Crabtree says the Biden administration is sending the wrong message to illegal immigrants.

‘They are saying if you can get here on American soil, we’ll take care of you. I don’t go to work every day to take care of that, that’s socialism. I work for what I have. Your house is your biggest investment, which they’ve destroyed. I work for what I have, I don’t take handouts and I don’t want them coming across the border. That’s not my problem. You know, we’ve got enough problems in the U.S. that need to be taken care of. And that’s a Mexico problem.’

Crabtree – who voted for Donald Trump – said this would have never happened under his regime. 

In March 2020, President Trump enacted Title 42 which allows the US Border Patrol to immediately expel any migrant, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But now with President Biden in office, he ended that practice for children in early March of this year.

As of February of this year 29,792 unaccompanied children have crossed the border without their parents according to CBP data.

‘I don’t believe a single word that comes out of the Biden administration, they’ve said the kids are only going to be her for 90 days, that’s a lie,’ continued Crabtree. ‘Biden has gotten us into this immigration mess and as long as he’s in office, it’s just going to get worse.’

He also blames the minor migrant children for this problem.

‘I believe it’s their fault. They came over here. I didn’t make them come over here3. They could have stayed home.’

But there is at least one person in the area who doesn’t mind the minor migrant child detention facility.

Anthony Whetstone, 53, who is renting a house next door to Crabtree told DailyMail.com exclusively, ‘I think it’s a good idea to house these kids. They deserve to have a chance at a good life who knows what horrible conditions they were facing in their own country. We are fortunate here in America.’

But Texas officials feel differently Governor Greg Abbott has called the border crisis a ‘humanitarian disaster’ as COVID cases surge among teens held in a hastily constructed federal holding facility for child migrants with no drinkable water.

The detention center in Midland County, currently holding more than 400 youths, was opened on March 14, 2021 after federal officials converted a ‘man camp’ for oilfield workers to help handle a massive surge in illegal border crossings, including many unaccompanied minors.

More than 10 percent of the camp’s population has tested positive for COVID-19 and at least one child had to be hospitalized. And on Friday, Texas officials issued a dire warning that well water used at the holding site could be contaminated with arsenic or other toxins.

Anthony Whetstone, 53, who is renting a house next door to Crabtree told DailyMail.com exclusively, 'I think it's a good idea to house these kids. They deserve to have a chance at a good life who knows what horrible conditions they were facing in their own country. We are fortunate here in America'

Anthony Whetstone, 53, who is renting a house next door to Crabtree told DailyMail.com exclusively, ‘I think it’s a good idea to house these kids. They deserve to have a chance at a good life who knows what horrible conditions they were facing in their own country. We are fortunate here in America’

'Tthere is zero privacy, the cops generally sit right there in my front driveway, it feels like you are being watched and monitored 24/7. They have three different branches of police over there, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, and the state police. Who knows what they dug up into our lives, you just feel violated,' Crabtree says

‘Tthere is zero privacy, the cops generally sit right there in my front driveway, it feels like you are being watched and monitored 24/7. They have three different branches of police over there, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, and the state police. Who knows what they dug up into our lives, you just feel violated,’ Crabtree says 

An official working at the Midland, Texas, facility said most of the Red Cross volunteers staffing the site don't speak Spanish, even though the teenagers they care for are overwhelmingly from Central America

An official working at the Midland, Texas, facility said most of the Red Cross volunteers staffing the site don’t speak Spanish, even though the teenagers they care for are overwhelmingly from Central America

They all appeared to be getting along and enjoying themselves. About 50 of them at a time played soccer on a makeshift field near their camper trailers, while Red Cross volunteers looked on

They all appeared to be getting along and enjoying themselves. About 50 of them at a time played soccer on a makeshift field near their camper trailers, while Red Cross volunteers looked on

‘We’ve known this is a crisis. What I learned in just the past hour shows that we are now dealing with a humanitarian disaster,’ said Abbott, a Republican, in an interview with Fox News on Friday. ‘There’s no telling what could be in there, including the possibility of arsenic… So there is no viable, usable running water at the location in Midland.’

Officials say that there are now more than 14,000 migrant youths being held in federal custody. It is more than three times the largest number of children held under the previous administration, which was widely criticized for putting ‘kids in cages.’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday insisted that President Joe Biden’s administration ‘has this under control’ and continued to refuse to call the situation at the southern border a crisis.

The facility in Midland has been plagued by safety concerns and stopped accepting new youths less than a week after it opened.

An official working at the Midland, Texas, facility said most of the Red Cross volunteers staffing the site don’t speak Spanish, even though the teenagers they care for are overwhelmingly from Central America.

When the facility opened, there weren’t enough new clothes to give to teenagers who had been wearing the same shirts and pants for several days, the official said. And no case managers were on site to begin processing the minors’ release to family elsewhere in the U.S.

Bringing in teenagers while still setting up basic services ‘was kind of like building a plane as it’s taking off,’ said the official, who declined to be named due to government restrictions.

U.S. Health and Human Services notified local officials in Midland on Wednesday that it had no plans to bring more teenagers to the site, according to an email seen by the AP.

HHS spokesman Mark Weber said taking more teenagers to Midland was on ‘pause for now.’ There were still 485 youths there as of Wednesday, 53 of whom had tested positive for COVID-19.

On Friday, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said running water at the Midland camp could be used only to flush toilets or wash clothes because officials aren’t sure whether the water is safe.

It’s unknown how many teenagers may have consumed water from taps or used it otherwise. They are now being given water bottles for drinking.

The Midland camp did not have an active permit with TCEQ for a public water system, according to the agency´s online records. The camp is operated by Katy, Texas-based Cotton Logistics.

Texas state Senator Kel Seliger said Friday that water on site is drawn from a well that the company drilled without getting a TCEQ permit.

‘They just drilled the well,’ said Seliger, a Republican who represents Midland. ‘It’s a pretty shallow well, and that’s where the concern comes in for naturally occurring arsenic, nitrates possibly. Hopefully not oilfield pollutants, but they don´t know.’

"Cotton Team" custodian workers are seen around the property. DailyMail.com has been told that the property has thirty members on the team

‘Cotton Team’ custodian workers are seen around the property. DailyMail.com has been told that the property has thirty members on the team

There are some problems with the water and septic system. In this area you can't drink the tap water because of the soil so potable water is brought in to drink

There are some problems with the water and septic system. In this area you can’t drink the tap water because of the soil so potable water is brought in to drink 

More than 10 percent of the camp's population has tested positive for COVID-19 and at least one child had to be hospitalized. And on Friday, Texas officials issued a dire warning that well water used at the holding site could be contaminated with arsenic or other toxins

More than 10 percent of the camp’s population has tested positive for COVID-19 and at least one child had to be hospitalized. And on Friday, Texas officials issued a dire warning that well water used at the holding site could be contaminated with arsenic or other toxins

U.S. Health and Human Services, which operates long-term facilities for immigrant children, said the water at the Midland facility ‘is deemed potable and is tested regularly above standards,’ but would not say who did the testing and what the testing found. HHS also did not answer questions about when it learned of concerns about the water.

‘We are in contact with our contractor to ensure clean water is accessible for kids and staff in the facility,’ HHS spokeswoman Luisana Perez said.

Abbott issued a statement accusing the Biden administration of ‘abject failure when it comes to ensuring the safety of unaccompanied minors who cross our border.’

The Republican governor, facing criticism of his own over his handling of a winter storm that knocked out the state’s power grid, has been sharply critical of the new Democratic administration’s handling of the border.

U.S. officials have rushed to open new sites to hold teenagers and children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to try to clear packed Border Patrol facilities currently holding thousands of youths – many claiming to be in their late teens, but whose exact ages are difficult to verify.

Biden has kept intact an emergency measure enacted by the Trump administration during the pandemic that allows the government to quickly expel them to Mexico, though adults who bring young children are generally allowed to enter through South Texas.

The Biden administration is not expelling immigrant children unaccompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Several hundred a day are crossing the border, going first to often packed Border Patrol stations while they await placement in the HHS system.

The number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border illegally has surged. CBP Chief Gloria Chavez of the El Paso Sector said that illegal crossings by unaccompanied minors were up 96 percent in the sector for January and February compared to the same period last year.

A similar surge occurred in 2014, following executive action from the Obama administration protecting so-called ‘DREAMers’ who arrived in the country illegally as children. Congress is now considering a bill granting citizenship to DREAMers.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who plans to soon visit the border, said the Biden administration, ‘in effect, issued an invitation for unaccompanied children to come to this country.’

HHS earlier this week stopped taking teenagers to the Midland facility for now as the agency opens another emergency holding center at the downtown Dallas convention center, which is expected to reach 400 teenagers Friday.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has called the border crisis a 'humanitarian disaster' as COVID cases surge among teens held in a hastily constructed federal holding facility for child migrants with no drinkable water

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has called the border crisis a ‘humanitarian disaster’ as COVID cases surge among teens held in a hastily constructed federal holding facility for child migrants with no drinkable water

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has bristled at suggestions that the southern border is in crisis, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki has tried to avoid using the term

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has bristled at suggestions that the southern border is in crisis, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki has tried to avoid using the term

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has bristled at suggestions that the southern border is in crisis, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki has tried to avoid using the term

Disturbing images have shown the cramped conditions inside a migrant 'overflow' tent in Texas where one lawmaker says 400 unaccompanied male minors are being held in 'terrible conditions' in a space meant for half as many

Disturbing images have shown the cramped conditions inside a migrant ‘overflow’ tent in Texas where one lawmaker says 400 unaccompanied male minors are being held in ‘terrible conditions’ in a space meant for half as many

The pictures, released by Congressman Henry Cuellar, show inside the U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporary overflow facility in Donna over the weekend

The pictures, released by Congressman Henry Cuellar, show inside the U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporary overflow facility in Donna over the weekend 

The Biden administration has also reopened a Trump administration facility in remote Carrizo Springs, Texas, to house migrant children. Abbott said on Friday that that more than 10 percent of the population at the Carrizo Springs location has tested positive for COVID-19.

‘Any time we’re dealing with the massive amount of influx of people coming across the border, that would be a humanitarian crisis and a big challenge now, knowing the magnitude of the spread of COVID in these areas,’ Abbott told Fox News. ‘This is occurring during the course of a pandemic and is endangering lives as we speak.’

HHS has turned to the American Red Cross to care for teenagers in both Midland and Dallas, a departure from the standard practice of having paid, trained staff watch over youths. Red Cross volunteers sit outside portable trailers in Midland to monitor the teenagers staying inside. Staff from HHS and the U.S. Public Health Service are also at both sites.

The Biden administration refuses to allow journalists to visit the holding facilities, a break from the Trump administration, which even at the height of furious criticism allowed the press to tour holding facilities.

‘People don’t trust what they´re doing. They don´t feel secure,’ said U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican who represents Midland. ‘The lack of transparency only serves to magnify that problem.’

In a statement earlier this week, HHS said it was rushing to get children out of Border Patrol custody and that emergency sites ‘will provide a safer and less over-crowded environment where children are cared for and processed as quickly as possible.’

The Red Cross says its volunteers in Midland and Dallas ‘have received intensive training in sheltering operations and COVID-19 safety’ and that they had all undergone background checks. The agency declined to say how many hours of training each volunteer had received.

Pfluger was allowed to visit the site soon after it opened and saw the portable units that serve as rooms for each teenager.

‘It’s a professional facility that was intended for workers,’ he said.

Homeland Security Officers are posted along the perimeter of the camp 24 hours a day guarding the camp

Homeland Security Officers are posted along the perimeter of the camp 24 hours a day guarding the camp 

Cotton Logistics Man Camps are boasted as an "all-inclusive hotels with five-star hospitality, wireless internet, and cable television'

Cotton Logistics Man Camps are boasted as an ‘all-inclusive hotels with five-star hospitality, wireless internet, and cable television’

But Pfluger and other Midland officials said the Biden administration wasn’t answering their questions or giving them assurance that officials would keep the surrounding community safe. HHS opened the Midland site without notifying some top local officials who say many of their questions aren’t being answered.

The border crisis had created political challenges for the new Biden administration, with Republicans pouncing to accuse the Democrat of the same tactics that drew moral outrage in the Trump era.

Democrats counter by alleging the actual hypocrisy is among Republicans, who are now feigning concern over immigrant children after years of cheering tougher Trump policies.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has bristled at suggestions that the southern border is in crisis, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki has tried to avoid using the term.

Biden has attempted to discourage men, women and children ready to head to the U.S. border from Mexico, Central America and elsewhere, with hopes of being allowed to more easily cross onto American soil.

‘Don’t leave your town or city or community,’ Biden said during a recent interview with ABC, pleading for more time as his administration works toward longer-term solutions at the border.

Biden has mostly avoided attacks from his party´s progressive wing. One of its top public faces, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, tweeted of reopening the Trump-era facility in Carrizo Springs, ‘This is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay – no matter the administration or party.’

But she also added that ‘our fraught, unjust immigration system will not transform’ overnight, pinning the blame for the crisis squarely on Trump.

Crabtree added, ‘I just want them gone, send them back to Mexico. Come across the border the legal way.’


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