• Matt Esnayra

The U.S. Could Shelter up to 1,000 Migrant Children at L.B Convention Center

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has requested the use of the Long Beach Convention Center to temporarily shelter up to 1,000 migrant children for about 90 to 120 days or until Aug 2nd, city officials announced Monday.

Why it matters:

The Long Beach convention center's proposed alteration comes as migrant crossings on the U.S.-Mexico border are on the rise and are straining the immigration system. Long Beach would join San Diego and Dallas, whose convention center's have been transformed into temporary shelters to deal with the overflow of migrant children.

  • 🏟️: Last week, the Post showed a photo of two vehicles from the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Services parked outside the convention center. That federal officials were inside the Arena.

  • 💉: The Long Beach Arena's parking lot has been home to the COVID-19 vaccination site; it is unknown how it would be affected.

  • 💰: The Biden administration is making preparations to reactivate a for-profit facility for migrant children in Homestead, Florida, the Miami Herald reports.

  • 🌇: The agreement still must be approved by the Long Beach City Council, which will hold a special meeting Tuesday to decide whether to move forward.

The big picture:

The Coronavirus pandemic's continuous adverse effects on the global economy combined with natural disasters, the consequences of U.S. foreign policy, and climate change have added more fuel to the current migrant crisis.

What they're saying:

  • Mayor Garcia on the convention center housing migrant children, "Long Beach has a proud and long history of welcoming and helping immigrants and refugees. From our Cambodian community to the work done by our churches and faith organizations, we have led with compassion and kindness.” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “As an immigrant, I know how important it is to support all people, especially children — and I am proud to support our country in this important work.”

  • Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, "You can tell a lot about a society by the way it treats its youth. Long Beach has a moral responsibility to show compassion for these children during the ongoing humanitarian crisis at our border. By providing shelter, we are living up to our values & leading by example".

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