Texas tent city for migrant teens to close
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The U.S. government is closing a tent city in Texas that has been a flashpoint for the Trump administration's immigration policies.

A Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) official on Friday confirmed the planned closure of a facility in Tornillo, Texas, saying that as of this weekend “the last group of unaccompanied alien children will have been transferred or discharged."


Lynn Johnson, assistant secretary of the Administration for Children and Families at HHS, said in a statement that all unaccompanied minors "have been either released to an appropriate sponsor or transferred to other shelters throughout our network of care providers."

BCFS, the organization operating the facility, told Reuters that the government has transferred out all of the teens and that there are “no more children in Tornillo.”

The facility first opened on June 14, roughly two months after the Trump administration introduced its controversial “zero tolerance” policy, to help handle the growing number of unaccompanied migrant children that were being held in detention as a result of the policy.

The temporary shelter, which housed almost 2,800 teenagers in December, reportedly housed more than 850 migrants earlier this month.

"Though Tornillo is on a path toward closure, influx facilities like Tornillo are necessary" for HHS to care for unaccompanied minors "referred to us by the Department of Homeland Security," Johnson said. "As the Trump administration continues to enforce current laws to address our nation’s crisis at the border, the program will need to continue to evaluate needs and capacity in order to care for the hundreds of [unaccompanied minors] that cross the US border daily."

The facility's closure comes at a time when the federal government remains partially shut down due to disagreements between President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE and congressional Democrats over funding for a proposed border wall.

Trump has demanded more than $5 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats have refused to provide money for the structure.

Nathaniel Weixel contributed.