Nearly 700 children are with families, sponsors after crossing the Long Beach migrant shelter – Press Telegram
Nearly 700 children who have been housed in the temporary migrant shelter at the Long Beach Convention Center have been reunited with family members or sponsors, officials said on Friday (June 4th).
As of Friday, there were 158 children in the shelter, 675 of whom had passed through the facility and have now settled into more permanent accommodation. This represents an increase of almost 100 minors who have been reunited with a family or godparents compared to last week, when the number was 584.
The number of children still in the shelter, however, increased slightly from 152 last week. But it is still much lower than the 353 who were hosted there two weeks ago.
The shelter has the capacity to house up to 1,000 children, who receive meals, education, recreation, toys, books, clothing and access to legal services.
The Long Beach Convention Center was used by federal officials earlier this year to be used as a temporary refuge for migrants, along with several other facilities across the country, primarily in California and Texas, as an influx of children fleeing violence and poverty in Central America – went to the border without relatives.
There is a similar facility in Pomona, which also caters for children, the majority of whom are between 8 and 17 years old. The HHS reunited 374 children who were staying at the Fairplex with their families or sponsors on Friday, a large increase from May 19, when authorities reported 36 children had been placed with families or sponsors since the center emergency reception opened on May 1.
In March, border authorities encountered 18,890 unaccompanied minors, a 100% increase from February and an unprecedented monthly record. But last month, that number fell to 17,171, indicating that the rise may moderate. The numbers for March and April, however, are still far higher than any other month on record. Federal authorities have yet to release data for May.
The Long Beach facility will remain open until August 2 at the latest.
Editor-in-chief Javier Rojas contributed to this report.