Assemblywoman Gonzalez comments on migrant detention center conditions
VENTURA COUNTY – On Tuesday, July 8th, 2014, members of the California Latino Legislative Caucus toured Naval Base Ventura County, where undocumented, unaccompanied children are being held. They requested a visit to the facility to see the conditions the children are experiencing while being detained. There was a teleconference briefing held after the visit reporting on what they saw and actions that can be taken to help address this humanitarian crisis.
“Today, I had the opportunity to tour the Ventura County facility for unaccompanied refugee youth from Central America,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. “I was pleased to see clean, adequate dorms and even happier to see content, well-behaved children – learning English and exercising – awaiting reunification with their parents and families in the United States. The Ventura County facility is just for 13- to 17-year-old youths who have a family member or sponsor already identified in the United States. I remain concerned about the younger children who can’t communicate their situation as easily and the youth who have come fleeing violent circumstances in their native country without a family here.
“The youth housed at the Ventura County facility are processed quickly, about two weeks in and out. The 575 kids we saw today, and others like them, should have the opportunity for due process in immigration court and not just be immediately deported. I’m hopeful our President will require the federal government to continue to abide by the 2008 law that processes these refugee youths in a manner that includes this due process.”
Gonzalez represents the 80th Assembly District, which includes Chula Vista, National City and the San Diego neighborhoods of City Heights, Barrio Logan, Paradise Hills, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa, and serves as Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Women and the Workplace. For more information, visit http://asmdc.org/members/a80/ .