Simply after we thought Texas Gov. Greg Abbott couldn’t get extra racist—we spoke too quickly. On Tuesday, the GOP governor ordered state baby care regulators to revoke the licenses of services that foster undocumented minors who crossed the state’s southern border and had been detained. Based on The Morning Dallas News, at the least 52 state-licensed residential operations and child-placing businesses within the state have contracts with the federal Workplace of Refugee Resettlement to take care of these undocumented immigrant kids. All are susceptible to shedding their license.
Abbott’s order comes beneath the guise of addressing the “border disaster” in Texas. He claims he’s defending landowners in southern counties from “trespassers and the harm they trigger to non-public property.” Abbott not solely blamed the present administration for an “unabated inflow” of immigrant kids and claimed by taking the mandatory steps to revoke licenses of services that home them he will likely be lowering “prison trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking,” however he related a rise in immigration to the state’s foster care disaster.
“President Biden’s open-border insurance policies have paved the best way for harmful gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and lethal medicine like fentanyl to pour into our communities,” Abbott stated in a statement. “In the meantime, landowners alongside the border are seeing their property broken and vandalized every day whereas the Biden Administration does nothing to guard them. Texas continues to step as much as confront the border disaster within the federal authorities’s absence, however extra have to be achieved.
“By declaring a state of catastrophe in these counties, Texas may have extra sources and methods at our disposal to guard landowners and implement all federal and state legal guidelines to fight prison actions stemming from the border disaster. Working along with native regulation enforcement, the state will proceed to take strong and significant motion to maintain our communities protected,” Abbott added.
Abbott plans to power these businesses to cease serving minors inside three months by eradicating their state licenses, which qualify them for federal contracts. Whereas it’s unclear precisely what number of kids are in Texas services, there are at the least 17,000 unaccompanied kids nationwide, in keeping with information supplied by the Division of Well being and Human Companies.
If services had been to lose their licenses and be unable to help and home these kids, kids might be held within the Customs and Border Safety stations as a substitute. Such services have been recognized to deal with immigrants badly and have little to no sources.
Texas already faces a foster care disaster with suppliers relinquishing contracts with the Division of Household and Protecting Companies, leading to tons of of youngsters every month having no appropriate placements, The Morning Dallas Information reported. Kids have been bunked in Youngster Protecting Companies (CPS) workplaces, accommodations, or church buildings, attended in a single day by CPS staff. Revoking licenses of services that home immigrant kids will solely additional this disaster, not tackle it. Whereas extra care services are wanted, Abbott’s order will solely cut back the supply of services and thus enhance the general drawback.
Based on Leecia Welch, legal professional on the Nationwide Heart for Youth Legislation, greater than 4,000 kids are anticipated to be displaced within the state with the chief order. Welch and others famous that such an order wouldn’t assist however additional the “disaster” the nation faces along with different obstacles reminiscent of forcing suppliers to depart the state and placing hundreds out of their jobs.
“This might be a serious setback,” former federal baby welfare official Mark Greenberg stated. “It could be enormously disruptive to the suppliers who’ve been offering shelter and providers to unaccompanied kids in Texas for a few years, and have substantial experience and expertise from offering these providers.”
Because the pandemic continues, the necessity for ample housing for youngsters and migrants is extra vital than ever. Kids shouldn’t be displaced, be put in hotels, or be in detention facilities— particularly beneath the guise of addressing a foster care disaster. We should do higher as people to make sure injustice doesn’t happen. Kids and households leaving their houses for a greater life shouldn’t be topic to additional abuse. We can’t let Republicans like Abbott use immigrant kids as scapegoats to advance a xenophobic agenda.