Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX-11) blasted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for failing to reimburse the hospital for the “barrage of issues” the hospital has dealt with concerning at least 40 unaccompanied children in HHS custody.
“Midland’s hospital system should not have to shoulder the costs of the Biden border crisis. I will immediately begin knocking down doors to demand that Midland Memorial is paid in full,” Pfluger said in a press release on Thursday.
Tasa Richardson, public relations manager for Midland Memorial, told Fox News that they followed federal guidelines but have not received payment.
“I can confirm that Midland Memorial Hospital has provided healthcare services to 40 individuals from the migrant facility,” Richardson reportedly said. “This care has totaled hospital charges of $206,287. Claims have been submitted via Point Comfort per federal official direction. To date, no claims have been processed.”
Pfluger said Midland Memorial has also provided care for unaccompanied children who became pregnant while in federal custody. Though neither Pfluger nor Midland Memorial mentioned sexual assault in their statements, Gov. Greg Abbott alleged in April that children were being sexually abused at another HHS facility in San Antonio.
According to statements Pfluger made in March, HHS moved hundreds of unaccompanied minors to Midland without notifying local authorities — not even the sheriff.
In the Big Bend border patrol sector, which encompasses Midland, there were 4,591 enforcement encounters with illegal aliens in April, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) figures. That number includes 4,245 single adults, 198 unaccompanied minors, and 148 family unit apprehensions.
The welfare of unaccompanied minors, the condition of the facilities where the feds have housed them, and the lack of cooperation between state and federal officials have been the source of a great deal of controversy.
For instance, in March, six state senators returned from a trip to the southern border and stated that they had not been permitted to tour a location in Donna where CBP was housing unaccompanied children.
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan. He has coached high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.