LA Times Report: Long Beach, CA Answers the Biden Administration Call to Provide Shelter to Migrant Children

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia has answered the Biden Administration’s call to provide local support for vulnerable migrants. Himself an immigrant from Peru, Mayor Garcia is moving forward with a plan to house up to 1,000 vulnerable migrant children at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. Here, our Los Angeles immigration lawyer explains the situation near the U.S.-Mexico border and the decision by local leaders in Long Beach.

Vulnerable Migrant Children are Arriving at the Southern Border

As often happens in the spring, a significant number of vulnerable migrants, including many children, are arriving at the United States border. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) notes that people are facing “violence, climate change, rising poverty” in their native countries. The COVID-19 pandemic may be a factor driving some people, including unaccompanied minors, to make the dangerous journey from Central America to seek asylum protections in the United States. The vast majority of young migrants are arriving from three Central American countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Long Beach, CA has a History of Welcoming Refugees and Asylum Seekers

The United States has the capacity to take in many more refugees and asylum seekers. Nonetheless, the Biden Administration is facing some logistical challenges in providing safe and secure housing for vulnerable migrant children. In recent weeks, the administration has been looking for additional partners it can work with at the local level. With a history of welcoming immigrants—including those fleeing persecution and violence in Cambodia in the late 1970s and early 1980s—Long Beach was a sensible option. Notably, Long Beach is now home to a large and thriving Cambodian community.

Long Beach Leaders: We Can Provide Housing for 1,000 People

Mayor Robert Garcia is working with other city officials and local organizations in preparation from the potential arrival of up to 1,000 migrant children. Most importantly, Long Beach is working with federal officials to prepare the use of its city-owned and operated Convention & Entertainment Center.

As of mid-April, official federal data indicates that approximately 18,890 unaccompanied minors have arrived at the southern border so far this year. The number is nearly twice as high as it was during the same period in 2019. It is unclear how many will require extended housing, but the contribution by Long Beach can make a significant difference in the lives of many young people. The first migrant children are expected to arrive in Long Beach later this week.

We are Fierce Advocates for Immigrant Rights in Southern California

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our Los Angeles immigration attorney is standing by, ready to get started on your case. Have questions about your rights or options? We would be more than happy to help. Contact us today to schedule a confidential initial appointment with an attorney. We provide immigration legal services throughout the region, including in Long Beach, Gardena, Downey, Rancho Palos Verdes, Torrance, East Los Angeles, and Rosemead.

Josh Goldstein
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