Watch TV in what the United States calls a “model” shelter, where immigrant children play

Pomona, CA-A teenage boy chases a soccer ball on a grass field. Dormitory beds were organized into small pods with TVs in each section. Some kids are lying in the crib reading, while others are playing cards with caseworkers nearby.

Friday’s Biden administration rarely looked inside an emergency shelter opened to accommodate children of immigrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone, calling the California facility a model for its large site. That’s right.

Secretary of Health and Welfare Xavier Becerra, who cares for migrant children, was joined by an official who was selected during a tour of a shelter for nearly 1,400 children at the Los Angeles County Trade Fair in Pomona. Two Associated Press journalists were allowed to accompany them and shared tour notes and photos with other media outlets as part of the pool arrangements.

This facility was in contrast to the situation reported at other emergency shelters. The children complained that they had little stinking food, little outdoor recreation space, and needed to sleep without doing anything and not knowing when they would be released to their relatives. In the United States.

“I think this is a model,” Besera told reporters after visiting the Pomona facility, which has a 2,787-square-meter air-conditioned room with food balls and a table tennis table, wooden blocks, and other games. It was. A large Spanish sign above the front door of the room says “Welcome,” “Hope,” and “Love.”

In a room full of caseworkers, Besera spoke in Spanish to the children about when to reunite with their families.

“We are trying to do this as soon as possible, but in a safe way,” he said.

Within 4 hours of arriving at the shelter, children will have access to the call center. The call center is a room with brightly colored pictures of butterflies and sea creatures. You can then call your family twice a week.

Next to the call area, there were named blue, pink, and silver stars covering the wall. Officials said officials posted a star with the child’s name on discharge from the facility.

“We’re running out of space,” says Becerra.

Cribs are on display in the emergency shelter dormitory for immigrant children on July 2, 2021 in Pomona, California.

Evacuation shelter staff roam the dormitories and outdoor spaces in case of an emergency. Teachers at the Pomona Unified School District offer each child a 90-minute class twice a week to improve their English in half the time.

According to Besera, the Pomona site, with its existing buildings and green spaces, has several advantages over locations like Fort Bliss Army Base near El Paso, Texas, with zero government shelter as a tent camp. Was built from. Proponents said Fort Bliss, which Bethera visited a few days ago without allowing the media to accompany him, was particularly problematic.

“It’s not easy to get something like this up and running right away, but you’ll find that it’s a healthy and safe place for kids,” Besera said of the Pomona facility.

As tens of thousands of children crossed the border alone, the government set up a temporary shelter this spring. Of the 14 centers opened, two were closed because they did not meet government standards. Others are being closed as more children are released to US families and more advanced care facilities.

Emergency shelters are widely thought of as improving border-holding facilities full of children, but the Byden administration is suffering from unlicensed centers where migrant children do not immediately reunite with U.S. families. We are facing pressure to address our concerns. Causes anxiety and panic attacks.

Republicans say the administration has been caught in line with border conditions and President Joe Biden’s immigration policy has encouraged the arrival of unaccompanied children. In March, nearly 19,000 children traveling alone were picked up along the border, a record high.

Advocates say there is no shelter that can replace families and licensed facilities in terms of caring for children. They say the emergency location was intended to be a safe place to accommodate children for weeks to give the government time to contact and scrutinize their relatives. Those who do not have a family in the United States are to be sent to a nationally licensed facility.

Xavier Becerra, Executive Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, is looking at the star wall, one for each child ... Xavier Becerra, Executive Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, is looking at a star wall for each released child at an emergency shelter for migrant children in Pomona, California, on July 2, 2021. I will.

As of this week, the average length of stay in temporary housing was 37 days, and the facility’s network was filled with just over half its capacity, according to health and welfare service data obtained by AP.

More than half of the 5,300 children in emergency shelters have close families such as parents and grandparents. According to the data, no such contact has been identified for one-third of young people on these sites.

Karina Ramos, an immigration lawyer at the California Immigration Advocacy Law Center, visits Pomona’s shelter twice a week. According to Besera’s agency, more than half of the 2,605 children who came there reunited with their families.

“The number one question is,’When will you go home?'” Ramos said. This is “clearly understandable.”

However, Ramos said the children were generally not dissatisfied. Most of Pomona’s facilities are teenage boys, with less than 300 children under the age of 12. Most are from Guatemala and Honduras.

“This is definitely not Fort Bliss,” Ramos said. “Children are generally active, they are happy, and they come to talk to us.”

A record of an interview conducted by a lawyer from March to early June and submitted to a federal court in Los Angeles stated that more than 12 migrant children were desperate to leave the emergency facility. According to one account, a teenage girl stayed in Fort Bliss for nearly 60 days and relied on eating only popsicles and juice because the food was dirty.

Becerra said the addition of mental, entertaining, educational and mental health services has improved the condition in recent weeks. The Fort Bliss shelter was also reconfigured into a more child-friendly pod system with a single cot instead of a double. More caseworkers have been added, accelerating family reintegration.

Due to progress, Bethera said the number of children his agency is caring for has dropped from more than 22,000 to just over 14,400, and more than half are in licensed shelters. His agency said it would keep Pomona and Fort Bliss open and close four emergency facilities this summer.

Watch TV in what the United States calls a “model” shelter, where immigrant children play

Source link Watch TV in what the United States calls a “model” shelter, where immigrant children play

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