Instagram / justincpress
Some 2,400 minors will be temporarily housed at Freeman Coliseum under a deal reached by Bexar County and the Biden Administration.
As expected, Bexar County has struck a deal with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to offer temporary shelter to unaccompanied migrant children at Freeman Coliseum.
The county confirmed the use of Freeman as a shelter on Friday afternoon, saying it will house up to 2,400 minors in the county-owned site's two expo halls. The 60-day lease will allow HHS to connect the children with family members in the United States or other caretakers.
The announcement was widely expected since White House officials confirmed Thursday to the Express-News
that they planned to house thousands of migrant children at a pair of San Antonio shelters. One would be at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. Freeman was mentioned as the second possibility.
The majority of children traveled to the United States from Honduras and El Salvador, where they fled violence and poverty resulting from back-to-back hurricanes, according to a briefing supplied by the county. HHS is not deporting the children in its care.
The expo halls include 240,000 square feet of space and will be divided up into sleeping and dining areas. Groups including Catholic Charities will provide mental health services, legal representation and cases management.
Everyone housed at the site will be tested for COVID-19 and must follow safety protocols including quarantine for those who test positive.
The arrangement comes as the Biden White House tries to solve an overcrowding crisis at Border Patrol facilities. It's faced criticism for holding unaccompanied minors in jail-like conditions and being unprepared to deal with a wave of migrant children arriving at the US-Mexico border.
Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.