U.S. agency defends D.C. shelter for unaccompanied migrant kids

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A woman watches the sunrise over the National Mall from the steps of the Lincoln memorial. Monday, March 11, 2019, in Washington D.C. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has defended its plan to house unaccompanied migrant children in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post reports DHHS says unaccompanied minors were apprehended alone, unlike migrant children separated from their families. It says its wards have beds and access to meals, legal services, games and classes.

It says it awarded Dynamic Service Solutions a $20.5 million contract this month to operate a 200-bed District facility for kids ages 12 to 17. The Maryland-based contractor has applied for a permit to open the shelter and posted jobs for people to work with “unaccompanied alien” children there.

City officials have denounced the shelter , and Councilwoman Brianne K. Nadeau may propose emergency legislation to limit the number of youths allowed at shelters.

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