Two Catholic bishops in Texas are calling on Governor Greg Abbott to reverse his state-level executive order to remove licensing from facilities, including foster homes, that are housing unaccompanied migrant children. As part of his May 31 disaster declaration, Abbott directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to revoke licenses issued to facilities under a federal contract to provide shelter and food to migrant children. The HHSC then instructed such child care facilities to “wind down” operations by August 30. Reverend Mark J. Seitz, bishop of El Paso, and Reverend Daniel E. Flores, bishop of Brownsville, urged Abbott not to shutter religious ministries housing hundreds of “vulnerable” migrant children, alleging that the order is in violation of state laws protecting religious freedom. “Across the state of Texas, Catholic Charities provides homelike care to hundreds of vulnerable migrant children every day,” the bishops wrote in a Sunday op-ed published in The Dallas Morning News . As of mid-May, there were 52 facilities housing about 4,200 children that will face closure due to Abbott’s order, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The move will not only leave thousands of migrant children in mass facilities, it will also leave foster children… Read full this story
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