Escondido City Council rejects proposed migrant youth shelter

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – It was an emotional night in Escondido Wednesday as the City Council members took up a controversial issue involving a housing facility for unaccompanied immigrant children.

Council members heard over three hours of arguments from both sides of the issue.

After hearing statements from close to 70 city residents, council members cast their votes to turn down the proposal for the federal government to operate a facility for unaccompanied immigrant children who have come here illegally.

The proposed facility, at a former nursing facility on the west side of the town, was rejected unanimously by the planning commission last month.

But a challenge from the ACLU brought it back before the City Council.

Those opposed to the facility say their opposition in part is based on the fact they do not feel comfortable having a federal detention center in their neighborhood.

Those in favor of the facility say, ‘Come on Escondido… have heart, Do not risk the chance of being accused of racism.’

Those in favor also made the case to help the kids, many of whom are from Central and South America.

In the end the Council voted four-to-one to support the planning commission’s earlier recommendation.

Councilwoman Olga Diaz was the loan dissenter, saying her vote may ultimately cost her the upcoming mayoral election.

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