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Rep. Jimmy Panetta visits facility amid surge in unaccompanied children crossing southern border

CARRIZO SPRINGS, Texas (KION and CNN) Central Coast Congressman Jimmy Panetta was one of six Democratic House members who visited a Health and Human Services facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas Friday.

The facility is equipped to provide medical services, sleeping quarters and other types of support while case managers work with unaccompanied children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border unite to unite them with sponsors in the U.S., such as parents or other family members.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, CNN reports that there has not been enough space in shelters for the increase in arrivals, which means children end up staying in Border Patrol facilities for longer periods than what is legally allowed.

Panetta gave an interview during the visit, saying that even though the Central Coast is not a border district, many people living in the area and their families have crossed the border.

"It's my responsibility to be here to make sure that those who cross the border to avail themselves of the laws of this country are treated with the same respect, the same dignity and the same purpose that are the foundation of the laws of our nation," he said.

Panetta said his message to the Biden Administration is that they need to continue to work together to fund necessary resources to work with people coming across the border.

In a social media post, Panetta shared a statement about the visit.

"This morning, my colleagues and are heading to an Office of Refugee Resettlement facility for unaccompanied children in Carrizo Springs, Texas. We are here to ensure the wellbeing of these children and to assess what further resources are needed," he wrote.

CNN reports that the Biden Administration has not let news cameras into the facilities where children have been detained.

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Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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