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Shelter For Immigrant Children Could Open In Escondido

Aired 6/24/14 on KPBS News.

The Escondido Planning Commission will decide whether to approve a children's shelter Tuesday. Central American and Mexican children have been showing up alone at the southwest border in record numbers since late last year.

Escondido may soon shelter some of the unaccompanied immigrant minors who have been arriving in recent months at the U.S.-Mexico border in record numbers.

On Tuesday, the Escondido Planning Commission will consider a proposal to turn a building that used to be a continuing care center into a temporary shelter for the minors. The shelter would house 96 beds.

The building, previously owned by Palomar Health, would be leased by Southwest Key, an organization that contracts with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to house and care for immigrant youngsters.

Document

Escondido Planning Commission Packet On Immigrant Shelter

Escondido Planning Commission Packet On Immigrant Shelter

Escondido Planning Commission information packet on proposed shelter ...

U.S. authorities are dealing with an unprecedented surge in immigrant children arriving alone at the southwest border. Border agents apprehended 52,193 unaccompanied children (age 17 and under) at the border between October 1, 2013 and June 15, 2014, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures.

That’s a 99 percent increase over the same period last year. Most of the children are from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama announced three new, large temporary shelters to house the children until they can be reunited with family members while awaiting hearings in immigration court. But the federal government has been quietly working to establish smaller shelters, like the one proposed for Escondido, at sites around the country.

Jay Petrek, assistant planning director for the city of Escondido, said the Department of Health and Human Services contacted the city about opening a shelter in April. Petrek said HHS first proposed to locate the shelter in an abandoned hotel in a commercial zone. It then set its sights on the 2.31-acre Palomar facility.

About 90 employees would care for the children. A child typically would stay in such a shelter for 10 to 60 days, according to the proposal. The children would not be allowed to recreate outside, though the facility does have several indoor recreation areas.

Most services, including education provided by the San Diego County Office of Education, would be delivered on-site. However, “off-site services may include religious services, medical or dental appointments, and educational or recreational field trips,” according to the proposal.

A 6-foot-tall fence would be built to provide security and “keep residents from wandering off the site.” The proposal requires a temporary-use permit from the city of Escondido and faces some political opposition.

Petrek said he had received about 15 emails and letters from Escondido residents opposed to the new shelter, and none in favor. Concerns included increased security risks, the possible spread of airborne illnesses, and potential future overcrowding at the shelter. (see Southwest Key’s answers to these concerns, page 24)

According to Southwest Key, less than 1 percent of unaccompanied minors at their shelters leave without permission.

A recent United Nations report on unaccompanied migrants fleeing Central America points to a web of factors driving the exodus, including widespread violence and a desire to reunite with family members living in the U.S.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama declared the rise in immigrant children at the border an “urgent humanitarian situation,” and directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate a response.

The operating budget for the proposed Escondido shelter would be $6 million to $7 million. Petrek said the shelter likely would employee local residents. He said if approved, the city would also encourage Southwest Key to buy supplies for the shelter from local providers.

The Escondido Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. to take up the proposal. If it’s approved, opponents have 10 days to appeal the commission’s decision.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 23, 2014 at 8:26 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

I can't get into the UT's website for this story. I can only imagine the hostile comments. I guess Regressivebooty is taking the day off today.

Out of all the material I've read or seen about this new immigration situation, this is the very first time that Mexico has been mentioned. Can you verify this? Also, I've read that it has been thus far exclusive to the Texas border if only because that is the shortest route from Central America.

See related: La jaula de oro (2013) - IMDb
www.imdb.com/title/tt2042583/
Internet Movie Database
Rating: 7.9/10 - ‎994 votes
Trailer: The Golden Dream 8 June 2014 | Pure Movies · Ariel Awards 2014: The Golden Cage Dominates Mexican Oscars 28 May 2014 | Twitch ... Golden Cage.

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Avatar for user 'passerins'

passerins | June 24, 2014 at 7:41 a.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

I think that Unaccompanied immigrant childrens are complex challenge we cannot overlook. Insisting that the country should never lose focus on humanity. Frequently child migrants are the dream weavers among us and we should not shatter their dreams but we should help them realise these dreams and allow them to be children. Our responsibility is to ensure that children enjoy life…we should not kill their hopes but we should commit ourselves to provide care and protection and ensure that their dreams, hopes and desires come true.When children and youth arrive in Europe they feel disorientated and confused and we must be more cultural sensitive. No matter what they go through to survive, they remain children. We know that they possibly were exposed to abuse and suffering and my hope is to have a country which gives new hope to migrant children.http://minoristranierinonaccompagnati.blogspot.it/

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | June 24, 2014 at 9:35 a.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

We could have an immigration judge on call 24/7 for less than $6M a year. Heck, we could have 12 judges working rotating shift work at $250k a year each for half of that.
Do we really not have anything better to do with our tax money than to feed and house illegal immigrants for 10 to 60 days before deporting them?

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 24, 2014 at 10:13 a.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

If these kids are able to manage crossing the border into America, I am sure they will have no problem being dumped back into Mexico where they speak the national language.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 24, 2014 at 11:08 a.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

A 6-foot-tall fence would be built to provide security and “keep residents from wandering off the site.”

===

They illegally crossed a border with a 21 foot fence, armed guards, dogs, helicopters, cameras, and sensors and they think a 6 foot fence will keep them from wandering off?

I'm certain most are street smart, criminally hardened, and willing to use those skills if they "wander off" into Escondido.

ESCONDIDO PLANING COMMISSION:

Please vote NO on this short-sighted, poorly developed plan!

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Avatar for user 'commus'

commus | June 24, 2014 at 11:17 a.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

The heartless answers amaze me. Yes they made it thru Mexico. SOME OF THEM. Those who did not fall from train cars and die. Those who were sexually abused. Those who escaped the human traffickers. Many of them died or are enslaved still in Mexico.

Interesting that we forget those children that arrived in this country and were accepted with open arms.
No. Not this year or last year or even in the 21st century! It was before WWII and they were the children who arrived in New York with notes on their clothes. Refugees from the rife of Hitler and the Third Reich. Many of their families died in places like Dachau and Berkinwald.

The children...no matter where from or color or creed ... Are the future of us all.

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Avatar for user 'commus'

commus | June 24, 2014 at 11:21 a.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

Californiadefender:
Have you been to the place where these children cross? It would appear that you haven't been more than a couple of miles of the border.

Is the fence in the proposed facility to keep the children in or keep the Escandido bigots out?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 24, 2014 at 12:08 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

Commus,

If they were accepted as refugees or entered via the work/school/citizenship process, they should be welcomed with open arms.

They did not and are cutting in line ahead of hundreds of thousands of children and their families.

What of them?

Are you going to tell them because they followed the law that they are less deserving? What message is that to new immigrants?

That is not just illegal, but immoral.

You are the one with no heart or compassion. Permitting these illegal alien children will encourage countless more to make a dangerous decision.

Their suffering and blood is on your hands.

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Avatar for user 'progressivebuthey'

progressivebuthey | June 24, 2014 at 12:55 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

only one answer ---- BIRTH CONTROL.

if history proves anything --- 1983 amnesty for 1.7 million illegals. 2014 amnesty for 12 million illegals.

also, for all the bleeding hearts, less than half of the "Dreamers" have applied for renewal because they no longer qualify (based on grades, criminal records, etc.).

now, we will have 100,000 per month illegal children coming here and the immigrant rights groups want each one to have a lawyer to process their claims for asylum (based on this bogus notion of violence is spawning this recent surge

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 24, 2014 at 2:29 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

progressive - do you mean something like forced sterilization? Maybe crop dust birth control over the desert?

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Avatar for user 'commus'

commus | June 24, 2014 at 4:53 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

CaliforniaDefender you are a typical tea party red neck.
First you attack them with a useless argument about the fence that is a total fabrication.

Now you try to show compassion for those waiting.. if these children were not here you'd be ready to show any child with brown skin under the bus.

Did a say one single work about taking anything from the other kids...now even that is your idea not mine.

How do you lecture about morals when your posting was filled with a lie about the fences.

You totally ignore the actions we have taken during history. Our current immigration laws are brainless. We destroy families while praising the traditional family and preaching family values.

There is nothing in our immigration laws that reward the "deserving". So wave your "immoral" flag at your own legislator because it the merit system were used your fictitious fence where these children enter would not exist.

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Avatar for user 'Jill Replogle'

Jill Replogle, KPBS Staff | June 24, 2014 at 4:54 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

To the question on unaccompanied children from Mexico: they make up about one-fourth of all unaccompanied children encountered this fiscal year at the southwest border. But their numbers are actually lower than they've been for the past two years. So the big increase has been from Central American kids.

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Avatar for user 'commus'

commus | June 24, 2014 at 5:01 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

AA final note.;..NOTHING says these children will stay here.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 24, 2014 at 5:24 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

Commus,

Yes, the fence does not cover the entire border and is ineffective. That is irrelevant.

My point, which you entirely missed, is that the kids that make it here are pretty hardened and tough. Not just from the journey, but their entire life.

I have a strong sense of morality and have ALWAYS stood up for legal immigrants.

However, you are morally bankrupt. If you had anything to back up your empty argument, you wouldn't need to insult people. But you don't, so you do.

And to counter your "final" note... NOTHING says they won't.

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Avatar for user 'commus'

commus | June 24, 2014 at 8:02 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

CaliforniaDefender: Yes, the fence does not cover the entire border and is ineffective. That is irrelevant.

me: then why was it a major part of your original post.

CaliforniaDefender:My point, which you entirely missed, is that the kids that make it here are pretty hardened and tough. Not just from the journey, but their entire life.

me: You can't miss a point that was NEVER brought up. I not you mentioned all the hardship they endured on the way here.

CaliforniaDefender: I have a strong sense of morality and have ALWAYS stood up for legal immigrants.

Me: Yet nothing for children who have been enslaved and made same and opposite sex prostitutes and beaten and starved and heaven know what other horrors. Except the rant in your post that the Escondido should insure that there is no descent place for them including the lie about the fence around the place not containing them. The only "hard" there is the ability to escape from the abuse. So you intend for the areas in Escandido to be a abuse area?

CaliforniaDefender:CaliforniaDefender:And to counter your "final" note... NOTHING says they won't.

me: Seems like you are unable to know what law is.

You're one mixed up cookie...

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Avatar for user 'commus'

commus | June 24, 2014 at 8:06 p.m. ― 4 months, 1 week ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

( )

Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | June 25, 2014 at 8:18 a.m. ― 4 months ago

commus "The heartless answers amaze me. Yes they made it thru Mexico. SOME OF THEM. Those who did not fall from train cars and die. Those who were sexually abused. Those who escaped the human traffickers. Many of them died or are enslaved still in Mexico."

It seems your outrage should be directed at Mexican and South American slavers and pedophiles (and perhaps train conductors). These are Mexican and South American problems that are appropriately solved by their native governments. We have plenty of our own problems to solve without borrowing trouble from the south.

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Avatar for user 'commus'

commus | June 25, 2014 at 8:54 a.m. ― 4 months ago

Benz72-- so we do what invade their country?
That is your solution for caring for abused children.
I suppose you would have sent the Jewish children back to Poland too.

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Avatar for user 'commus'

commus | June 25, 2014 at 8:58 a.m. ― 4 months ago

No need for further discussions. The facility has been turned down.
200 children will continue to sleep on floors in Texas.
Escondido should be proud they continue to be the bias Capitol of San Diego county.

At least until the Hispanic children living there grow up and start to vote and that ain't too far off.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 25, 2014 at 9:48 a.m. ― 4 months ago

Commus' "no further discussion" comment gets to the root of his/her argument:

Racism.

Encourage more poor Hispanic children to risk sex abuse, slavery, and death to travel to America to simply become votes.

How horribly sadistic. Just pure evil.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 25, 2014 at 10:31 a.m. ― 4 months ago

If they do not want to sleep on the floor in Texas they should have stayed home in their own country.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | June 25, 2014 at 10:43 a.m. ― 4 months ago

commus "Benz72-- so we do what invade their country? That is your solution for caring for abused children. I suppose you would have sent the Jewish children back to Poland too."

Of course we don't invade their country. It is not our place to solve their problem for them, any more than it is Mexico's place to invade Utah because of problems with plural marriages and child brides. It is none of our business. They are not our children. They are not the children of our citizens. The responsibility for their care lies elsewhere. That being said, if you feel the personal need to feed and shelter them prior to deportation you are welcome to do so. Please refrain from attempting to subvert funding for your agenda away from the legitimate functions of government for which those funds were (ostensibly) removed from the very citizens who voiced their displeasure with the proposal and whose representatives unanimously rejected this idea.

BTW, nice Godwin. As soon as you point to the nation that is exterminating a racial minority we can talk about asylum for refugees, until then you might want to consider a more apt comparison.

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Avatar for user 'cc2822'

cc2822 | June 25, 2014 at 2:18 p.m. ― 4 months ago

I find it disturbing to see the words children and dumped in the same sentence. Some of them are as young as six. Would any of us speak of a six year old American child in such a way? They are human beings. Children. They are not garbage.
We are fine with going to impoverished countries and adopting but children sent here to escape suffering are hated and dismissed as criminals. I am not saying that that they must all stay, but they should be treated with compassion and kindness while they are here whether that is for a few hours, days, months or longer.
If we considered for just one moment what on earth would make anyone send their child away. I know how much I love my kids and I can't imagine sending them anywhere but I have never known that kind of danger either.
It is heart breaking that so many people are filled with so much hatred.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 25, 2014 at 2:27 p.m. ― 4 months ago

"If these kids are able to manage crossing the border into America, I am sure they will have no problem being dumped back into Mexico where they speak the national language."

John Markkk, will you EVER post anything that sounds logical?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 25, 2014 at 2:31 p.m. ― 4 months ago

"progressive - do you mean something like forced sterilization? Maybe crop dust birth control over the desert?"

Yet more blathering from John Markkk. Why don't you move to China where people ARE prosecuted for having more than one child??? Put your ideology where your mouth is!

Christian Bale roughed up by guards while trying to visit ...
www.dailymail.co.uk/.../Christian-Bale-roughed-guards-trying...
Daily Mail
Dec 16, 2011 - Christian Bale was roughed up by Chinese security guards as he tried to visit ... Actor pushed, shoved, punched and then followed after attempt to see lawyer under house ... by exposing forced abortions as part of China's one-child policy ... on a charge of 'blocking traffic' and damaging property in a protest.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 25, 2014 at 2:40 p.m. ― 4 months ago

CA OFFENDER, MOST CERTAINLY streetwise, otherwise (no pun intended), they would not have made it out of their own countries, but "criminally hardened" is your personal ethnic prejudice and quite despicable on your part.

Like the female Guatemalan character muses in the Academy Award nominated 1983 film, EL NORTE, "In this country, they care more about their dogs, than people." (That's a paraphrase because I cannot recall the exact line, but you get the point. Your smart.)

El Norte (1983) - IMDb
www.imdb.com/title/tt0085482/
Internet Movie Database
Rating: 7.8/10 - ‎3,269 votes
El Norte -- Brother and sister Enrique and Rosa flee persecution at home in ... Still of David Villalpando in El Norte (1983) Still of Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez and David ...

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 25, 2014 at 2:43 p.m. ― 4 months ago

CA OFFENDER replies to sarcastically to Communist:

"Commus' "no further discussion" comment gets to the root of his/her argument:

Racism.

Encourage more poor Hispanic children to risk sex abuse, slavery, and death to travel to America to simply become votes."

Wait, I thought you said these were "hardened criminals"??? So which is it, CA OFFENDER? Criminals or poor children risking sex abuse, slavery and death??? No, I know you're not really schizoid, OFFENDER, you simply cannot offer a coherent rebuttal.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 25, 2014 at 2:48 p.m. ― 4 months ago

Jill Replogle, I listenend to the interview with Nick Cave, Mexico City correspondent for the NY Times. He clearly stated that Mexican emigration has declined since 2010, for a variety of socio-ecomic and demographic reasons and that Mexican human smugglers can make more from Central Americans. That is also a good rebuttal for those who make the oversimplified claim on this and other sites that it's all about population numbers.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 25, 2014 at 4:11 p.m. ― 4 months ago

Missionfailed,

You can't connect A to B can you? It is quite simple.

A child left in terrible conditions will likely resort to criminal activity to survive.

But these children would have never become criminals or even started such a dangerous journey if they knew it was impossible to stay in the US illegally.

Thus the source of their misery is with people like you and Commus who encourage illegal immigration.

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