ERIE, Pennsylvania (WJET) — Upward of 150 migrant children are heading to Erie County, Pa., this week.
The plan is to house them in a dormitory owned by the Pennsylvania International Academy in Summit Township.
Over the years, the facility has been used by students and visiting athletes as housing during their time in Erie.
Now, the plan is to house as many as 150 migrant children brought to Erie from the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Department of Health and Human Services told WJET that the academy will act as an emergency intake site in the near future and provide shelter for children ages 12 and under with the potential capacity of 648 beds.
In a statement, HHS said: “To support this effort, HHS selected the PIA (Pennsylvania International Academy) property to establish an EIS (Emergency Intake Site) to provide ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement) with needed capacity to accept children from CBP (Customs and Border Protection) into its care where they can be safely processed, cared for, and either released to a sponsor or transferred to an appropriate ORR shelter for longer-term care. The EIS is intended for use as a temporary measure.”
According to Congressman Mike Kelly, the children will arrive in Erie on Tuesday. Kelly said he was not involved in this decision and said in part, “I want to know the Biden administration’s long-term plan for these migrants. …”
According to Kelly, this deal was made between what he called a local member of the community, the Department of Homeland Security, HHS and the Biden administration.
Thousands of children have crossed the border into the U.S. from Mexico and other countries, in many cases with their parents.
The Biden administration said that in the past, the ultimate goal is to find family members of the children who are in the U.S., vet them and then allow the children to live with family once again.
The director of communications at PIA told WJET that they are not making any comments at this time and referred questions to the owner, Glen Renaud, who at this time is not responding.
On Monday, HHS also announced the opening of another Emergency Intake Site in Albion, Mich. The Starr Commonwealth Emergency Intake Site received the first group, approximately 100 unaccompanied migrant children, on Monday. The Starr Commonwealth EIS will provide shelter for boys ages 5-17 years old and has a potential capacity of 240 beds.