The White House on Friday said the Department of Health and Human Services is looking into Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s allegations that migrant children have been sexually assaulted at a San Antonio facility.
Mr. Abbott, a Republican, called on the Biden administration this week to shut down the intake facility at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio after state agencies received reports of sexual abuse.
“His claims will be looked into and investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at the daily briefing. “Currently, we have no basis for his call to shut down the San Antonio Freeman Coliseum as an intake site, but we, of course, take these allegations seriously, and they will be investigated,” she said.
Mr. Abbott has been a vocal critic of the Biden administration’s approach to immigration. This week he revealed the allegations of abuse at a press conference outside the Freeman Coliseum, and directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to investigate the allegations.
Mr. Abbott on Friday sent a letter to Vice President Kamala Harris once again urging the administration to “close this facility and move these children to federally run facilities where the federal government has the space, personnel, and resources to ensure their safety.”
“The State of Texas previously warned about overcrowded conditions at these facilities, and now those conditions have led to allegations of child abuse and neglect,” Mr. Abbott said. “Our repeated warnings and questions have gone ignored by President Biden, yourself and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas.”
“These problems are a direct result of the Biden administration’s refusal to secure the border and its failure to plan for the fallout of open border policies,” he said.
Mr. Abbott said that Ms. Harris — in her role as Mr. Biden’s “Border Czar” — has a “duty to these children and the American people to act immediately.”