Written by Natalia Toliver
Migrant children are already arriving at the San Diego convention center. The announcement came from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services as they plan to open multiple temporary facilities for unaccompanied migrant children.
The current administration is working to increase the federal government’s capacity to hold minors in state-licensed facilities, but this can take upwards of nine months to a year to become operational. A variety of temporary facilities, such as the convention center in Dallas, have been used to help shift children out of Border Patrol custody. These sites are meant to be short-term mechanisms to make sure children can be out of CBP custody and in a facility that has standard care for a crisis or emergency situations. The Department of Health and Human Services have also reached out for aid from the military. This would include using vacant dorms at Joint Base San Antonio and areas on Fort Bliss.
Though the timeline is not set, the San Diego Convention Center is expected to hold migrant children until July 1. It is also estimated to cost taxpayers $6,500 per child per month.
Rep. Darrell Issa stated, “The White House should stop looking for the next convention center and start working with us on a realistic solution to the humanitarian crisis it caused and is making worse.” Darrell Issa has stressed that solutions need to be made otherwise, “human suffering only increases.” Michale Harrison, district director for San Diego County Supervisor Joel Anderson, said that Anderson has had some concerns about the effect the cost will have on San Diego. Right now the County has no control over the situation and the federal government should reimburse the County for all costs associated with providing humanitarian aid.
Border Patrol apprehended more than 9,000 unaccompanied children last month and just under 500, roughly 5%, were apprehended in California.
Photo by Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune