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San Diego Convention Center to be used to house migrant children

The San Diego Convention Center, best known for hosting the annual Comic-Con International convention, will soon be used to house unaccompanied migrant children, the city and county announced Monday.

The use of San Diego’s convention center will assist the Department of Health and Human Services by providing a physical shelter for the children, along with addressing basic human needs.

A date for the first arrivals is still being finalized. Children will be provided with food, medical care, a place to sleep and showers. An outdoor recreational area will also be created onsite, according to a statement from San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher.

The average stay for each minor is expected to be about a month, and children will not be allowed to leave until they are released to a family member or guardian, according to the statement.

Nearly 5,000 minors are currently in the custody of Customs and Border Protection, a number that has been growing steadily. Federal law requires CBP to turn children over to HHS within 72 hours but the administration has been overwhelmed by the number of migrants.

HHS has already opened a large site at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas for more than 2,000 children.

Funding for use of the San Diego convention center will come from the Health and Human Services’ Refugee Resettlement Program.

As the Covid-19 pandemic has worn on over the past year, the San Diego Convention Center has been used to house and protect about 4,000 homeless residents from the virus, and more recently as a mass vaccination site.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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