SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KRON) – California leaders say they are prepared to provide a helping hand to the Biden administration as it works to get thousands of unaccompanied children out of Border Patrol Detention Centers and into Health and Human Services facilities.
The San Diego Convention Center is the latest facility set to open for minors following a request from brand new U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and former California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra.
With Becerra’s close ties to California, state leaders would not say Tuesday if more California facilities were being considered for a similar purpose.
Officials with the governor’s Office of Emergency Services said they are in regular communication with the federal government.
A spokesman said in a statement Tuesday:
“California continues to work closely with our local communities and non-profit partners to find ways to support these federally led efforts. We will provide additional updates as they become available and will remain focused on enforcing our state’s laws while staying true to our values and principles.”
In San Diego, officials have yet to say how many children will be housed in the convention center or where they’ll go after.
The site is expected to open within the coming week and will be operational for three months.
The federal government says it will pick up the costs.
San Diego area Republican State Senator Brian Jones said in a statement Tuesday in part:
“The inability of both political parties in Congress over the last several years to enact comprehensive immigration reform has drove us to this crisis point. Waffling and indecision by the Biden-Harris administration has further exacerbated the problem, on both sides of the border. It is truly unacceptable to the American people that we are seeing the San Diego Convention Center turned into an ongoing, inappropriate and inhumane living situation for immigrant children.”
State Senate pro Tem Toni Atkins who represents parts of San Diego tweeted, “Quickly reuniting migrant children with their families is essential…I am grateful for the mayor, city and county have found a solution to temporarily and safely house these children. I stand by ready to help.”