Long Beach, California 2021-04-22 16:48:55 –
Mayor Robert Garcia, the city council, and other elected officials will stay in cribs, medical facilities, until the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can place children with U.S. sponsors or families. I visited the row in the recreation area
The first children arrived shortly after the tour and scheduled press conference, officials said they were expected to accommodate up to 1,000 children until the site closed in August. Up to 150 people were expected to arrive on Thursday.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, which operates the site, children, mainly girls under the age of 17, arrive in groups every other day. Boys under the age of 12 may also be held there, according to a statement from the ministry.
White House with Garcia’s office City council voted in early April To advance rental negotiations with the federal government.
Three sources, aware of contract negotiations between the federal government and convention center management, said the federal government was paying $ 170,000 to $ 200,000 to use the space. The price tag does not include other federal costs such as children’s health care.
At a post-tour press conference, Garcia said the goal was to reunite these children with US families and sponsors within 7-10 days, but some of the children who arrived He admitted that some people did not identify the family that connects them. Also, some children may take some time to get through the site.
However, Garcia said the children were coming straight from the border, often without adults, and were previously held in less humane camps than the camps on Long Beach.
“These are some of the most vulnerable children,” Long Beach Rep. Alan Lowenthal said at a news conference. “These have survived the horrifying situation of even reaching the United States.”
Garcia, who emigrated from Peru to the United States as a child, said being in the facility was emotional to him.
“It’s very personal to me that each and every child is welcomed. A very complex process of showing kindness and love when arriving with my family and ultimately becoming a citizen. I am very grateful for welcoming the Americans and people who guided me, “Garcia said. “I am deeply saddened by the fact that today there is a system in which children do not have the same opportunities as when I passed the immigration system.”
In a statement, Secretary of Health and Welfare Xavier Becerra said the government had expanded its own bed space, and Long Beach, Dallas and San Diego were used to alleviate overcrowding of border facilities.
The record number of unaccompanied children Recently arrived at the border, Many fleeing gangsters and poverty in Central America. Coupled with the pandemic, federal authorities remain competing for space.
With less than 1,000 children expected to live on the Long Beach grounds at any given time, Garcia promised a hard stop date early August this month.Long Beach Convention Center has already announced plans Advance the upcoming event The first is August 8th.
According to federal authorities, the number of media allowed on the site for the tour was limited, but once the site is up and running, more access may be granted.
People who saw the facility said that they would welcome you with warm children’s toys, decorations, and a homely atmosphere. There are also stores where children can choose their clothes and other items while maintaining autonomy.
“It brought tears to my eyes,” said Councilor Stacy Mango Flanigan, who said he saw stuffed animals, backpacks, movie areas, and welcome areas everywhere with books and plants.
Mungo Flanigan said the Long Beach site is divided into smaller rooms that feel like homes, unlike other facilities like the cave-like colorless site of the San Diego Convention Center.
Cindy Allen, a councilor representing the area, including the convention center, said health and welfare officials praised it as one of the 13 best operating sites on Long Beach.
“I didn’t expect that warmth and welcome when I entered,” Allen said. “You can really see that it’s set up for toddlers.”
However, immigrant rights activists have responded differently to Long Beach’s application for a convention center.
Jessica Quintana, Executive Director of CentroCHA, called the facility beautiful. “Children will be very comfortable here,” she said. “… they will be provided with the highest quality care.”
But the site Destroyed earlier this month By people protesting its use as an immigrant facility. They drew a slogan such as “There are no children in the cage.”
In a comment on the city’s live feed at a press conference on Facebook, the Long Beach Immigration Union wrote that the city “should not advertise this facility as a replicable model.”
They called on authorities to fight “this new norm” in captivity of children instead.
In a post-tour comment, Loental said the US immigration system had been broken for decades.
“The city didn’t create this,” he said. “What the city can do is enable children involved in this broken system to provide the services they need.”