SAN DIEGO — Hundreds of unaccompanied immigrant children are heading to San Diego from Texas after local officials offered up the convention center to help as a migrant crisis blooms along the southern border for the last few weeks.
The mayor of neighboring El Cajon is now criticizing the plan, saying officials worked too quickly on the plan for residents and leaders on all levels of government to weigh in.
“State Attorney General Xavier Bacerra called two of our local politicians and they got on the phone and they decided they would just do this, and my question is where is the process,” Mayor Bill Wells in an appearance on Fox and Friends.
The convention center was in the process of moving out thousands of homeless people who had been sheltered at the site during the pandemic when the plan came together. “People should understand how much money we are getting — who should pay for what,” Wells said.
The mayor of San Diego Todd Gloria says the site was obvious to everyone involved in the decision. The federal government is slated to foot the bill for the use of the convention center and the unsheltered San Diegans still using the convention center location are now being sheltered in other facilities.
“None of the folks being housed at the convention center will be turned back out on to the streets,” Gloria told FOX 5. “All of them have additional housing opportunities.”
And County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher has also defended the plan, saying local leaders are stepping up quickly to address a humanitarian crisis.
“In some ways, [we’re] disheartened to see some of the conditions these children are in. These children who have a legal claim to be here, who have a legal right to be here, who have claimed asylum, are in conditions and situations in Customs and Border Protection detention facilities that simply should be unacceptable to all of us,” he said.