Tennessee’s Department of Child Services (DCS), as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), are investigating a report of abuse at one of a number of facilities being used to house the child migrants presenting themselves in record numbers at the United States-Mexico border.
As The Daily Wire reported in May, the Biden administration cleared overflowing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities, transporting thousands of child migrants to emergency shelters across the country, including one in Chattanooga, Tennessee — news that prompted federal legislators to take a closer look at how the Biden White House was handling a “child migrant crisis” at the southern border.
“Channel 3 obtained video of one of those planes arriving Friday, May 14 shortly before 1:30 a.m.,” local Tennessee media reported at the time. “A second video, shared with Channel 3, shows more children arriving late Saturday night. According to the source who provided the video, a third plane carrying children arrived Friday afternoon. Flight records confirm that a fourth plane arrived early Wednesday morning, May 19.”
Now, it appears that the Chattanooga facility is under scrutiny for an allegation of abuse.
“State and federal authorities, along with local law enforcement, are investigating a report of child abuse at a Chattanooga facility that has come under fire from Tennessee’s Republican lawmakers for housing migrant children picked up by federal border authorities,” Tennessee Lookout reported Friday. “The abuse was reported to officials with the Department of Children’s Services, accompanied by an interpreter, by a teenage boy at the facility during a surprise inspection, DCS Commissioner Jennifer Nichols told lawmakers on Wednesday. The boy reported he had witnessed abuse, not that he was the victim.”
Tennessee DCS has the authority to perform unannounced site visits and interview children housed at the facility. During these site visits, authorities typically try to interview children staying at the shelter.
“One of the six children who was interviewed ‘disclosed that he had witnessed an act that in our policy would substantiate and require an investigation into that act take place,'” DCS noted.
A spokesperson for DCS said that DCS, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and several other agencies are involved in the investigation.
“A referral was made to our own hotline, ” the spokesperson said. “Local law enforcement was immediately notified. The D.A.’s office was notified. Since the day after that unannounced site visit, there’s been an ongoing investigation involving local law enforcement, FBI was notified, the Office of Inspector General for ORR — they call that the Office of Refugee Resettlement — and the federal Homeland Security have all been notified and are working in collaboration with local law enforcement and our department to investigate what this youth disclosed to Mr. Anderson that he witnessed.”
Tennessee’s Republican lawmakers have largely objected to the Biden administration’s decision to reshuffle the thousands of child migrants into facilities without notifying destination states.
“U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn, Bill Hagerty, and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann filed legislation to require the federal government to consult with states before transporting migrants to the state,” the Tennessee Lookout noted. “Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee requested the U.S. Senate conduct hearings on the unaccompanied migrant children.”