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Feds Open Two Migrant Children Detention Centers — near Canadian Border

by Randy Clark

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials announced the opening of two more Emergency Intake Sites (EIS) to move increasing numbers of unaccompanied children out of Customs and Border Protection custody. The move mirrors recent announcements by HHS to address the surge in unaccompanied children migrants flooding the southern border.

One new EIS facility will be located at Starr Commonwealth campus in Albion, Michigan, about 70 miles from the U.S.-Canada border. The Starr Commonwealth EIS will provide housing for children ages 12 and under and has a potential capacity of 240 beds. Another will open at Pennsylvania International Academy (PIA) in Erie, Pennsylvania. The PIA EIS will also provide shelter for children ages 12 and under and has a potential capacity of 648 beds.

According to HHS, the EIS shelters being brought into service will provide the required standards of care for children. Those standards include providing clean and comfortable sleeping quarters, meals, toiletries, laundry, and access to medical services. A COVID-19 health screening protocol for all children will be implemented to follow CDC guidelines for preventing and controlling communicable diseases. Services will be provided by a combination of contractors and federal staff – including teams from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

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