HOUSTON (KHOU/CBS Newspath) — The first bus carrying undocumented minors from the U.S.-Mexico border arrived in Houston Friday night.
It pulled into a north Houston facility that will house up to 500 girls.
Immigration lawyer Charles Foster says under the law, the U.S. Border Patrol can only hold them for 72 hours.
“They’re processed, meaning they’re fingerprinted, they’re photographed, they’re checked … for medical conditions including COVID,” said Foster of Foster LLP.
The girls will then be placed with Health and Human services in the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
“They will stay at that facility until they can be resettled with a sponsor which is often, as I mentioned, will be their parent,” Foster said.
Foster talked about what happens if a close relative or sponsor can’t be found.
“They will continue to maintain the children and protect the child until the child turns 18. Under immigration law the child is now an adult and can be processed just like any other person seeking asylum in the United States,” Foster said.
Foster says each case goes before an asylum judge which could take anywhere from a few months to a few years.
More buses are expected to arrive over the next few days at the north Houston facility, which is more than 300 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.