Houston Officials Against Immigrant Child Separation

“The application submitted by Southwest Key Program has been accepted by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and the State now has 21 days to complete a standard-by-standard inspection of the facility.”   State Senator Sylvia Garcia tweeted on June 26, 2018

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Video runs 2:04

0:12 –Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

Photos Courtesy:  Mayor’s Office

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and community leaders spoke out today to oppose the Trump Administration Policy that separates immigrant children from their parents and relatives at the Texas-Mexico border. Southwest Key, a social services non-profit group, has leased the building at 419 Emancipation Avenue outside of downtown Houston as a place to house and feed the children caught in the middle of the zero-tolerance immigration policy that has outraged many Americans, Democrats and Republicans.

Immigrant children at a center in McAllen, Texas on June 18, 2018. Photo Courtesy: Border Patrol and Associated Press

KTRK-TV reports 2,342 immigrant children have been separated from their families crossing the Texas border since May 5, 2018.

The New York Post reports the Trump Administration hired Texas contractor Southwest Key to care for the migrant children and is paying the nonprofit $458 million.

“Southwest Key cannot combine its good work with a bad policy and come out smelling like a rose,” Mayor Turner said. “I do not want to be an enabler in this process. I do not want the city to participate in the process.”

A news release from the Mayor’s Office identified David Denenburg as the property owner who leased a former warehouse and homeless shelter near downtown Houston to Southwest Key.

Mayor Turner said he will ask the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to deny a child care facility license to Southwest Key. Mayor Turner also said city departments will decide whether to grant local permits to the property for dormitory use, fire safety and food service.

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