The Carrizo Springs detention center in Texas that was opened in response to the squalid conditions in which children were being detained by the Border Patrol is closing as early as this week after less than a month being open. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) opened the facility in late June.
According to the Associated Press, the government facility will be empty of children by Thursday, according to Kevin Dinnin, the CEO of the nonprofit BCFS that was contracted to run the camp. Staff will leave by the end of the week.
It’s still unclear whether some of the trailers and supplies brought to the camp will remain on site so that it can be quickly re-opened if it’s needed in the future, AP News reported. But it’s extremely costly to keep the children there, so the facility was closed because it wasn’t needed, according to Dinnin.
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But by the time HHS opened Carrizo Springs, the huge numbers of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border had fallen as they typically do during the summer months because of high temperatures.
HHS is also processing children more quickly after rolling back guidelines on fingerprinting and background checks, according to AP News.
HHS has the space leased for three years. It might reopen in the fall when border crossings usually start to rise again.
“I do think it’s prudent that they have a plan they can pull off the shelf and effectively and timely execute,” Dinnin told AP News. “That’s just logical for what we’ve seen the last six or seven years.”
Roughly 400 children were detained at Carrizo Springs in total. BCFS had a contract that could have run through January and paid $300 million but holding children at emergency facilities like Carrizo Springs costs an estimated $750 to $800 a day.