The emergency shelter for migrant children at Fairplex in Pomona will close its doors in November, more than a month before the end of the site’s contract with the federal government, officials announced Wednesday, October 13.
Officials said that since the shelter for unaccompanied minors opened on May 1, about 10,000 children have made their way to the facility after being detained at the US border with Mexico.
More than 8,000 of those children have been reunited with family members or placed with sponsors in the U.S. Currently, the Fairplex shelter has fewer than 400 children and no additional children are expected. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director Bonnie Preston.
Preston said in an email that the announcement came amid reports that fewer lonely minors were being detained at the border, allowing HHS officials to eliminate emergency intake sites. The Pomona site will officially shut down on November 19.
“These emergency intake shelters are temporary facilities that are opened to ensure that unaccompanied children are transferred out of the custody of the Department of Homeland Security and into child-appropriate settings,” Preston wrote.
“Therefore,” she continued, “as fewer accompanying children are detained at the border, stronger case management practices place children with family or sponsors, and increased capacity in the permanent shelter network, HHS able. “Shelter.
Federal officials opened the Fairplex shelters earlier this year along with several other facilities across the country — including a shelter in Long Beach, which closed in July — in response to the influx of children fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. As he made his way to the US border. without parents.
With a capacity of 2,500 children at a time, the Pomona site offered shelter mostly to teenagers, many of them from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. HHS officials have said most children usually come to the US with names and contact information in their pockets and are reunited with relatives or sponsors within 10 to 14 days.
Migrant children were kept at the Pomona site until they could be placed with sponsors or reunited with relatives in the US, during their stay, those 12 years of age and older. Were able to get the coronavirus vaccine.
Rape. Norma J. Torres, D-Pomona, commended the community efforts that have made the shelter “a safe and welcoming environment for these children,” she wrote in a statement. She said she plans to continue working with lawmakers to address the problems that cause migrants to flee their homes in Central America.
Torres said, “My ultimate goal is to address the core issues that compel people to risk their lives to immigrate to the United States so that we no longer need these kinds of emergency facilities.” ” “I will continue to work in Congress to address these problems so that Central Americans can live safely and have a promising future in their home countries. At the same time, I want to treat those in need safely and with respect. I will push for immigration reform, as we did here in Pomona.”
Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval said Wednesday that the Fairplex operation was a blueprint for other shelters to follow.
“Community members had some concerns in May, but over time it became clear that it became a model for other sites,” Sandoval said over the phone. “To me it shows what can happen when people come together and complicate things like this.”