Migrant Children Expected To Start Arriving At Convention Center This Weekend
Hundreds of children up to 17 years old will soon be arriving at the San Diego Convention Center, probably as soon as this weekend.
“This is a humanitarian issue. These are children who have a legal right to be here and I think we’ve all been shocked by the pictures and the conditions they’re in, in CPB detention facilities,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher.
The Biden Administration said it is sending back families, who are trying to illegally enter the United States. But when it comes to children traveling without their parents, the president made it clear on Thursday, where he stands.
“The idea that I’m gonna say, which I would never do, that if an unaccompanied child shows up at the border, that we’re just gonna let him starve to death and stay on the other side ... No previous administration did that either, except Trump. I’m not gonna do it, I’m not gonna do it," President Joe Biden said.
The law says unaccompanied children are not supposed to be held in federal detention facilities for more than 72-hours. That’s happening now, so the process of relocating them to more suitable facilities is urgent.
Enter the Convention Center. Earlier this week, Supervisor Fletcher and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria announced that children, perhaps up to 1,400, will be welcomed to the Center. But while they're here, they will not be allowed to leave the confines of the building.
In his YouTube update on Wednesday, Supervisor Jim Desmond sounded a note of concern, and resignation.
“We can’t sustain this on and on and on, month after month after month. This just can’t continue to happen like this, but you know, we are where we are,” he said.
As soon as children arrive, officials said efforts will get underway to send them to family members already in the U.S.
We reached out to Convention Center management for comment. They referred us to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, which will be overseeing the operation. No one got back to us.
Both Mayor Gloria and Supervisor Fletcher said the cost of the operation will be borne by the federal government.
“The federal government has been clear that this is their responsibility and they will pay the full cost associated with it and I think that is appropriate," Fletcher said.
The reason the Convention Center can serve as a temporary shelter is because no conventions are booked until August.