SHILOH TREATMENT CENTER IN MANVEL SHOULD BE CLOSED BY HHS FOR UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN
December 22, 2014
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member of the House Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees and Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Children’s Caucus released the following statement today:
“I am appalled by record of abuse and mistreatment of children at the Shiloh Treatment Center in Manvel documented by the Houston Chronicle in an expose published December 19, 2014. The abuses documented in that report – ranging from physical violence, unreasonable and excessive use of physical restraints, administering emergency medications without notice to governmental authorities, and several deaths of minor children while in custody – is not reflective of the quality of care and support that should be provided to the at-risk children, including the dozens of unaccompanied immigrant children, committed to its care.
“Because of these deficiencies I believe the time has come for the State of Texas to order the closure of the Shiloh Treatment Center. At a minimum, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should terminate immediately the contract awarded to Shiloh Treatment Center to provide shelter and treatment to unaccompanied children apprehended by the Border Patrol.
“Over many months, local government officials, non-profit organizations, and local charities that have a track record of serving vulnerable children have met and offered to make available to HHS facilities where unaccompanied children would be care for in a safe and supportive housing environment. I urge the State of Texas and HHS to explore this option as a viable alternative to continued reliance upon the Shiloh Treatment Center.
“All vulnerable and at-risk children deserve housing and shelter that is safe and supportive. I thank my colleague Congressman Pete Olson for his oversight and commitment to the well-being of the children entrusted to Shiloh Treatment Center and look forward to working with him and others to ensure that the Office of Refugee Resettlement exercises proper oversight over the facilities sheltering unaccompanied children.”
Congresswoman Jackson Lee is a Democrat from Texas’s 18th Congressional District. She is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security and is Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security