ARLINGTON, TEXAS - MARCH 18: Texas Governor Greg Abbott displays COVID-19 test collection vials as he addresses the media during a press conference held at Arlington Emergency Management on March 18, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. Abbott announced that Arlington health officials received 2,500 testing kits so all residents and workers at the Texas Masonic Retirement Home, the retirement home where COVID-19 victim Patrick James lived with his wife, will be tested for the virus. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Texas Governor Greg Abbott urged the Biden administration to shut down the Freeman Expo Center in San Antonio "immediately" after the state received child sex abuse and neglect allegations from those staying at the complex.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services received "credible" tips claiming that there's child violence and neglect at the San Antonio migrant center, Gov. Abbott said in a News4 San Antonio report.

A DFPS spokesperson also confirmed to KSAT that the organization had received the three incident reports where unaccompanied minors are reportedly being housed at the Freeman Coliseum. "Because this facility is not licensed by the State, we do not have the jurisdiction to investigate, but the information we received has been shared with DPS,” the spokesperson told the news outlet.

Abbott said authorities are investigating four complaints: child sex abuse, understaffing, underfed children, and a failure to separate COVID-19-positive children from those who are negative from the virus. He added that the situation is a "bi-product of President Biden's policies."

Abbott underscored that the facility is a "health and safety nightmare."

"While we wait on the Biden administration to act, I'm directing DPS and Texas Rangers immediately begin investigating these allegations," he said.

It's uncertain how many children were abused. Still, Abbott said authorities will launch further investigation as soon as possible and that answers will be forthcoming.

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office received a report on Wednesday evening of allegations of sexual offence. "Due to the nature of this incident and preliminary status of the investigation, this is the only information available which is being released at this time," BCSO said.

Meanwhile, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg has said that if the federal activity claims are real, a comprehensive investigation is necessary.

Following Abbott's announcement, White House regional spokesperson Ike Hajinazrian issued a statement to media outlets to refute Abbott's allegations.

"The Biden Administration takes the safety and well-being of children in its care very seriously. Currently, we see no basis for Governor Abbott's call to shut down the San Antonio Freeman Coliseum as an intake site, however, his claims will be looked into and investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services," the statement reads.

Abbott has been critical of the Biden Administration's handling of the migrant influx along the US-Mexico border. He argued that the administration has refused to protect the border, resulting in a dramatic increase in illegal border crossings.

Border Patrol agents recorded 100,441 apprehensions along the US-Mexico border in February, according to the most recent data available from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This represents a 28 percent rise from January's total of 78,442.

The majority of people crossing the border present themselves to border agents and are arrested and processed. Many of the men, women, and children are escaping poverty, corruption, and economic crises in their home countries, including Central America and Mexico.

Greg Abbott
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Reuters

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