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Thread: Facility housing up to 430 illegal alien children eyed for Inland Empire

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Facility housing up to 430 illegal alien children eyed for Inland Empire

    Facility housing up to 430 undocumented immigrant children eyed for Inland Empire

    Immigrant boys play soccer at the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in Florida in December. The U.S. government is interested in leasing space in the Inland Empire to house up to 430 unaccompanied minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. (AP file photo by Brynn Anderson)

    By JEFF HORSEMAN | | The Press-Enterprise
    PUBLISHED: August 16, 2019 at 8:25 pm | UPDATED: August 16, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    The Inland Empire is being considered for a federal facility that could hold up to 430 unaccompanied minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.

    The proposal has prompted objections from House Democrats who represent the region and concern from an advocate for the local immigrant community.

    On Aug. 5, the General Services Administration, which oversees the leasing and construction of federal buildings, posted a notice indicating a desire to lease space for 15 to 17 years in the Inland region.

    Attached to the notice is a map outlining an area that stretches from the 210 Freeway in San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties to the 91 Freeway in Riverside County. The map shows an area, defined in a federal document as “the specific boundaries within which space will be obtained” to meet an agency’s needs.

    The area runs from Redlands, Highland, and Moreno Valley through Riverside, Jurupa Valley, and Eastvale to Pomona, Chino, and Corona. Parts of Norco, Loma Linda, San Bernardino, Fontana, Colton, Bloomington, Ontario, Chino, Claremont, San Dimas, and Pomona also are included.

    In an emailed statement, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said its Office of Refugee Resettlement is exploring “vacant properties in Virginia, Central Florida, and Los Angeles to lease for potential future use as state-licensed permanent shelter locations for unaccompanied alien children.”

    “The search for an addition of permanent licensed facilities is being pursued to reduce the potential need for unlicensed temporary flux shelters in the future.”

    In August, The Washington Post reported the Virginia, Florida, and L.A. shelters were “meant to house youths close to where they may have relatives already living and to ease crowded conditions inside U.S. Border Patrol processing centers, where visitors have described seeing unbathed children wearing clothes caked in (mucus) and toddlers without diapers.”

    Currently, the largest child migrant facility is in Homestead, Florida, where immigrant advocates described “prison-like” conditions, The Associated Press reported. The Trump administration’s treatment of migrants has been condemned by Democrats and immigrant advocacy groups. A July report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general office reported standing-room-only cells, a lack of sanitation and other poor conditions in holding facilities.

    At least seven children are known to have died in immigration custody
    as of late May.

    Documents call for a 74,000- to 91,000-square-foot facility in the Inland Empire to house “Unaccompanied Alien Children,” defined by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 as anyone under 18 who has no lawful immigration status in the United States and lacks a parent or legal guardian in this country to provide care and physical custody.

    Unaccompanied minors picked up by homeland security are transferred to health and human services, which looks after the children until they are given to a parent, a close relative or a sponsor while their immigration cases are handled.

    A housing plan for the Inland facility calls for children to be housed in 215 bedrooms – two children per bedroom – and space for 72 bathrooms with showers, classrooms, medical exams, a kitchen/dining area and 43,560 square feet – five youth soccer fields – of playgrounds.

    As many as 430 staff members working eight-hour shifts would provide around-the-clock care for the children, according to the General Services Administration notice.

    While run by the U.S. government, the shelter would be licensed by the state of California for group home care. Expressions of interest from potential lessors are due Tuesday, Aug. 20, and the facility could be occupied by December 2020.

    It’s not clear how much a facility lease would cost. Depending on where it’s located, the facility also might need land-use approvals from a city or county.

    Surge in kids

    The facility is part of the Trump administration’s strategy to deal with Central American migrants, including unaccompanied minors, travelling through Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S.

    In the first nine years of its existence, fewer than 8,000 children were served by the refugee resettlement office’s program for unaccompanied minors, according to a fact sheet from the federal Administration for Children and Families.

    That number has skyrocketed in recent years, with the program getting 49,100 referrals in fiscal 2018 alone, federal figures show. As of Aug. 5, about 8,700 unaccompanied minors were being cared for by health and human services, with the system-wide length of care dropping from 93 days in November 2018 to 45 days as of June 2019, the government reported.

    In fiscal 2018, 73% of children referred to Office of Refugee Resettlement were over 14 and 71% were boys. Ninety-two % came from Guatemala, El Salvador or Honduras.

    ‘Against our values’

    House Democrats who represent the Inland Empire don’t want the facility here.

    “The Inland Empire has a long history of welcoming refugees, and the construction of such a facility in our communities is against our values,” said Rep. Norma Torres, D-Pomona, who came to the U.S. at age 5 from Guatemala.

    Rep. Norma Torres, D-Pomona (File photo by Stan Lim, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG).Rep. Mark Takano, D-Riverside, said he has heard “from constituents who have expressed outrage and concern over the establishment of such a facility in our community and I stand firmly in opposition to more child detention centers.”

    Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Redlands, said he’s concerned
    about the possible opening of “a facility in our backyard with few details and no input from local stakeholders, and I will continue seeking answers and accountability from the administration.”

    Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, had a different take.

    “We need to focus on reducing the incentives that bring people here illegally and that put children at risk,” he said, calling on Congress to pass legislation mandating use of E-Verify, an employment verification system created though a law that he authored.

    “Until we address the root cause of illegal immigration, truly gain operational control of our borders and have effective interior enforcement, we will continue to find ourselves in the same position.”

    Robin Hvidston, executive director of the Claremont-based anti-illegal immigration group We the People Rising, said the facility “sends the wrong message to the world” and that money for the center would be better spent on foster children in the U.S.

    “It’s disheartening when we have our own kids who need help,” she said.

    Luz Gallegos, director of community programs for the TODEC Legal Center in Perris, said immigrant advocate groups such as hers have been hearing rumors about an unaccompanied minor facility in the Inland region for a while.

    “We had heard that they were going to house these kids at March (Air Reserve Base), but we thought these were just rumors,” she said.

    Having a facility “(in) our backyard is going to create a lot of impact to our community in a negative way,” said Gallegos.

    It would add to the fear, anxiety, and confusion of Latino immigrants who already feel targeted by the Trump administration, she said.

    “As it is, our community is going through so much,” she said. “It’s like the cherry on top.”


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  2. #2
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Send them back to FACILITIES operated by their President!

    NO UAC's

    It is kidnapping to keep them, it is irresponsible to release them to anybody on our soil.

    They are a liability and they are NOT our responsibility!

    They have family members back home!

    No foster care. We are not the babysitter for the world.


    GeorgiaPeach likes this.


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