Facilities holding immigrant children who have been separated from their parents at the border are already getting crowded, and in Texas they're about to get even worse.
Texas officials have given the green light for 15 shelters to hold up to 50 percent more children, filling up beyond capacity as President Trump's administration continues its zero-tolerance border policy, the Texas Observer reported Wednesday.
Records show that facilities have been approved to hold an additional 722 kids beyond their current max capacities, a 16 percent increase. Some shelters have filled even more rapidly, increasing capacities by 48 percent. The shelters are owned and run by nonprofit organizations that the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement contracts to oversee youth detention. About 11,000 children are in ORR shelters, reports the Observer.
"Child welfare is being thrown out of the window because the feds say they don't have enough room," a National Association of Social Workers official said. "The capacity was never meant for this new population [of separated kids], so you're going to run into issues." State officials say they have reviewed the facilities to ensure they will be able to handle the new influx of kids. Read more at the Texas Observer. Summer Meza