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Fired workers claim poor conditions at Fort Bliss migrant shelter

FORT BLISS, Texas -- A group of disgruntled employees working at the Fort Bliss shelter for migrant children, gave ABC-7 some insight Wednesday regarding what they said are unsanitary conditions inside the shelter.

Among the issues: Lice, scabies and accusations that unaccompanied migrant children inside the facility were forced to eat raw chicken.

Those claims are coming from a group of 20 to 25 workers fired on Wednesday. The employees say they were not given a reason for why they were fired, nor, they claim, were they paid the wages they are owed.

The group gathered to protest outside a parking lot off State Route 54 and across the highway from the Fort Bliss facility.

Members of the group talked with ABC-7 about those poor shelter conditions, which the workers described as being unsanitary.

The workers said about 500 unaccompanied children are packed into tents with little to no social distancing, and they claimed the children go without taking showers for weeks at a time

Some of the now-fired employees said they spoke with supervisors about conditions, but added that those complaints were ignored.

This is not the first time ABC-7 has heard reports of unsanitary conditions at that shelter. In fact, El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar told ABC-7 last week that conditions at the facility were less than acceptable in her view.

ABC-7 asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which contracts with private entities to operate shelter, about conditions there – but the agency didn’t immediately respond to that request.

Article Topic Follows: Border

Saul Saenz

El Paso native Saul Saenz is a veteran reporter who also hosts ABC-7 Extra.

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