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Convention center to become migrant teen shelter

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The Dallas convention center - a massive venue usually for concerts and sports - is set to house up to 3,000 migrant teen boys.

It's part of a plan by the us government, as it scrambles to address increasing overcrowding at facilities on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plan to open the Dallas facility for boys between the ages of 15 and 17 as soon as this week, Reuters has learned.

Nearly 4,300 unaccompanied children were being held by border patrol officials as of Sunday, according to an agency official who requested anonymity.

By law, the children should be transferred out of the jail-like CBP facilities to shelters run by HHS within 72 hours.

But as of Sunday, roughly 3,000 children were being held beyond that limit due to a lack of available shelter beds.

President Joe Biden is under pressure from advocates and critics from his own Democratic Party on what action he plans to take to address the issue.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki:

"We want expedite getting these kids out of these CBP facilities as quickly as possible. And that's our and our objective and into shelters as quickly as possible. Then into sponsored homes as their cases are being considered and adjudicated... And this is an across the administration effort that we are committed on -- from the top -- to making changes on as quickly as possible."

Biden officials say they inherited a broken, inhumane system from the former administration.

But Republican critics blame Biden for relaxing some of Trump's hardline immigration policies for fueling the problem.

Senior Republican lawmaker Kevin McCarthy visited the border on Monday:

"There's no other way to claim it than a Biden border crisis."

The Dallas convention center is one of the country's largest, according to its website, with more than one million square feet of exhibit space and 88 meeting rooms. It is normally used for expos, sports events, concerts and auto shows.

The facility will house the teens while the government seeks to release them to a sponsor family or finds a more permanent shelter …

Video Transcript

- The Dallas Convention Center, a massive venue, usually, used for concerts and sports is set to house up to 3,000 migrant teen boys. It's part of a plan by the US government as it scrambles to address increasing overcrowding at facilities on the US Mexico border. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the US Department of Health and Human Services plan to open the Dallas facility for boys between ages 15 and 17 as early as this week, Reuters has learned.

Nearly 4,300 unaccompanied children were being held by border patrol officials as of Sunday, according to an agency official who requested anonymity. By law, the children should be transferred out of the jail, like CBP facilities, to shelters run by HHS within 72 hours. But as of Sunday, roughly 3,000 children were being held beyond that limit due to a lack of available shelter beds. President Joe Biden is under pressure from advocates and critics within his own Democratic Party on what action he plans to take to address the issue. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

JEN PSAKI: We want to expedite getting these kids out of these CBP facilities as quickly as possible, and this is an across the administration effort that we are committed from the top to making changes on as quickly as possible.

- Biden officials say, they inherited a broken, inhumane system from the former administration, but Republican critics blame Biden for relaxing some of Trump's hard line immigration policies for fueling the problem. Senior Republican lawmaker Kevin McCarthy visited the border on Monday.

KEVIN MCCARTHY: There's no other way to claim it than a Biden border crisis.

- The Dallas Convention Center is one of the country's largest, according to its website, with more than one million square feet of exhibit space and 88 meeting rooms. It is normally used for expos, sports events, concerts, and auto shows. The facility will house the teens, while the government seeks to release them to a sponsor family or finds a more permanent shelter.