Federal officials are preparing for a surge in arrivals of immigrant children at the nation’s southern border in Texas.
The Houston Chronicle reported that federal agencies are opening two temporary shelters equipped with 1,000 beds in South Texas as unaccompanied minors continue to flood the southern border in increased numbers.
This is the second time recently that the capacity of federal shelters to house migrants has been expanded. In addition to the South Texas shelters, a 400-bed shelter will also be opened in Southern California.
Moreover, the Department of Health and Human Services also asked the Department of Defense this week to make plans for 5,000 more shelter beds in the possibility that the number of immigrants continues to rise. An agency spokesperson said that these thousands of additional beds are not yet necessary.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services has begun a process to expand its temporary capacity to house unaccompanied children,” the department said in a statement.
“The entire administration has been closely monitoring these current trends and coordinating across the whole of government to ensure an effective response to any changes in migration flows.”
While the number of migrant children arriving at the Texas border in recent months is still less than the surge of summer 2014, the count of arrivals has represented an increase over the number at this time last year.
In October and November, the number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the border was between two and three times what it was during those months in 2014.