Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pushed back on President Joe Biden’s immigration policies by ordering state child-care regulators to rescind licenses from facilities that house minors who crossed the Texas southern border without papers and were detained.
Abbott linked his decision to defy the Biden administration to Texas’s ongoing capacity crisis in foster care.
“The unabated influx of individuals resulting from federal government policies threatens to negatively impact state-licensed residential facilities, including those that serve Texas children in foster care,” the governor said in the order.
Children currently residing in state-licensed shelters could be moved to U.S. Customs and Border Protection stations. Recently, these stations have come under scrutiny for being unsuitable for children.
In a message to the Dallas Morning News, Leecia Welch, attorney at the National Center for Youth Law, said shutting down state-licensed facilities for unaccompanied minors would displace about 4,000 children and “add even more chaos to an already chaotic situation. The order could force providers with substantial expertise to leave the state and put many people out of their jobs.”
The battle over the border has grown increasingly chaotic within the last year as more and more unaccompanied minors have crossed the southern border to find solace from war, poverty, the pandemic and a host of other problems. Children and families who are traveling thousands of miles for a chance at a better life are met with tough opposition from Abbott and other political leaders who are pushing back on Biden’s immigration policies, claiming they want to protect the citizens they already serve.
Yet despite Abbott’s order, hundreds of unaccompanied minors will still travel across the southern border each day. The order won’t slow the influx down. Rather, more and more children will find themselves in uninhabitable, cramped places, while politicians continue to argue over minors’ livelihoods from the safety and comfort of their homes.