Written by Miguel Palacios
Since March 27th, the San Diego Convention Center has been occupied with migrant minor girls, aged between 13 and 17, who traveled to the United States unaccompanied. By the first weekend of April, the facility had reached full capacity, but still, another group of girls arrived. Approximately 300 girls between the ages of 5 and 12 needed to be housed.
The unaccompanied girls are being watched and cared for by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It was determined that San Diego was best suited to caring for the younger children, so to make room for them, about 300 of the older girls were shipped off to another facility for migrant girls at Fort Bliss, Texas. The vast majority of the migrant girls came from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Southbay Community Services states they are still going to attempt to reunite the girls with family members in the U.S. while asylum cases are being heard.
While the girls are in HHS care, they are being provided with health services from Rady Children’s Hospital as well as food, a place to sleep, educational and recreational activities, and showers. The cost of operating and using the SD Convention Center is being covered by HHS. San Diego officials estimate the convention center will remain at full capacity through to mid-July, at least.
Meanwhile, on the homefront, Americans are still suffering from losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many Americans have still not returned to work, and while these migrant children are receiving in-person instruction from SDUSD teachers, American children remain at home on Zoom classes. Then there’s the issue of cost. All the costs of housing, feeding, caring for, educating, transporting, etc., of these migrant children are covered by HHS, which is funded by American taxpayers. We have yet to see what the final price tag will look like, but we can estimate that it will be quite large.
Photo via NBC7