California housing large number of detained immigrant children

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Roughly 2,000 children are being detained as a result of the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy of separating families illegally detained at the U.S. border.

Among those children, about 100 of them under the age of 9 have been sent to shelters in Southern California, according to the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

"Many of these shelters are non-profits, but they have contracts with the government," CHIRLA Executive Director Angelica Salas said. "Often, they also have some level of contracts with local governments because maybe they're providing them with mental and educational support."

California has already taken in the largest number of teenagers and unaccompanied minors crossing alone since 2014.

The Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project is handling one case involving a 6-year-old from Guatemala who is separated from her mother in Texas. The child has been released to a relative in the L.A. area.

"It's hard to stay positive when you're seeing these images, but we're committed to continuing this work and hopefully turning things around for our young clients," project official Patricia Ortiz said.

The child and her mother have separate cases and each will have to tell a judge why they are seeking asylum.
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