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Criminal investigation underway at Midland migrant facility after allegations of abuse and neglect

Allegations of abuse and neglect are being investigated at migrant holding facilities across Texas, including Midland’s facility.
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 9:51 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Allegations of abuse and neglect are being investigated at migrant holding facilities across Texas, including Midland’s facility.

Midland County district attorney Laura Nodolf tells me that after receiving a report from someone inside the facility alleging neglect and abuse of the minors, an investigation began.

Nodolf says this investigation is her worst fear coming true.

The initial allegations of abuse and neglect were reported to another agency before referred to the Midland County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office then approached the allegations like they would with anything that involves minors.

Nodolf says that the law enforcement groups in Midland had plans to deal with any criminal activity that might go on inside the facility.

“We just knew that inevitably something would happen, so we went ahead and put into place “what are we going to do if we receive a call for this type of offense.” We follow our normal protocols, and I sincerely wish we never would’ve received the call,” said Nodolf.

At the end of March, the federal government announced that FBI background checks would be waived for workers in the new emergency migrant holding facilities.

The Midland County District Attorney’s Office offered to conduct the background checks, but HHS rejected their offer on March 31st.

“We’ve inquired if there’s been training in regards to certain standards and when to act and when not to act. That’s all very important, and we believe some of that may be at play,” said Nodolf.

With a similar situation and investigation occurring at a migrant holding facility in San Antonio, one might ask, is this a common problem among these sites?

Immigration lawyer and advocate for unaccompanied minors, Domingo Garcia, says it may not be common, but it is a serious issue.

“It is an ongoing problem. Think about the concept of having jails for children. We think about juvie for juveniles, and some of these kids are 5,6,8 years old. America was never a country that had children in jails or cages,” said Garcia.

The investigation is active, and few specific details are available because the case involves minors.

Nodolf says that if it is determined a crime occurred, the subject will be prosecuted in Midland County.

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