250 migrant children to arrive at Pomona Fairplex when 'emergency intake site' opens Saturday

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- The Pomona Fairplex on Saturday is set to open its doors to migrant children who entered the U.S. unaccompanied at the Mexico border.

Federal and local elected officials, including Reps. Judy Chu and Jimmy Gomez, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, and Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval are scheduled to tour the facility on Friday morning ahead of the opening as an "emergency intake site."

Solis said the first 250 children will arrive Saturday at the site, which is set up to accommodate 2,500. The children had previously been expected to arrive on Friday.

Last week about 100 migrant children were transported to the Long Beach Convention center, which is also serving as a temporary housing location.

First group of migrant children arrive at Long Beach Convention Center
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Around 100 migrant children arrived at the Long Beach Convention Center Thursday, beginning its operation as a shelter that will temporarily house unaccompanied minors from the U.S.-Mexico border.

The U.S. government picked up nearly 19,000 children traveling alone across the Mexican border in March, authorities said, the largest monthly number ever recorded and a major test for President Joe Biden as he reverses many of his predecessor's hardline immigration tactics.

The Border Patrol encountered 18,663 unaccompanied children in March, well above previous highs of 11,475 in May 2019 and 10,620 in June 2014. The agency started publishing the numbers in 2009. Before then, adults made up the vast majority of those crossing the border.

Customs and Border Patrol must transfer unaccompanied children within 72 hours to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, whose facilities are more suited to longer-term care while arrangements are made to release them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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