Long Beach Convention Center expected to be used as shelter for migrant children

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The city of Long Beach may soon allow its convention center to temporarily shelter up to 1,000 migrant children, city officials said Monday.

The federal government is asking local communities throughout the country to help with sheltering unaccompanied minors who are currently housed in overcrowded Border Patrol facilities.

The item comes before the Long Beach City Council for review on Tuesday. It is not expected to face major opposition.

Mayor Robert Garcia says he supports the request.

"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," Garcia said.

"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."

If approved, the Long Beach Convention Center would temporarily house up to 1,000 children for a period of 90 to 120 days.

Garcia says the Long Beach City Council is expected to approve the measure Tuesday and children could begin arriving as early as next week.

The site would provide housing, food, recreation and other services to the children. Garcia says he wants to focus on making it a family reunification center.

While Long Beach is providing the facility, the federal government would be responsible for providing and funding the services.

Long Beach would become at least the second major site for housing unaccompanied migrant children in Southern California.

The city of San Diego has also offered its convention center as a shelter for unaccompanied migrant children.
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After a request from the Biden administration, the San Diego Convention Center will be used to shelter unaccompanied migrant children seeking asylum.

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