The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is still considering whether Camp Roberts Army National Guard base will be the eighth site to house unaccompanied migrant children in California after it sent a request to the facility in early April.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CAL GUARD MILITARY DEPARTMENT
TEMPORARILY HOUSED The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is expected to announce a decision soon about whether Camp Roberts (pictured) will be one of eight sites in California to house unaccompanied migrant children.
While it is expected to announce its decision soon, no date has been disclosed.
If Camp Roberts is found to be suitable to meet the needs of the children, the California Army National Guard post would temporarily house migrant minors as they are processed to be placed with family or a sponsor, prior to a court determination of their legality in the U.S.
Although the community is divided over its potential use as a temporary housing site, U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) has expressed his support for the idea.
Carbajal cited his recent visit to the Carrizo Springs Influx Care Facility in Texas—which also served as a holding facility for unaccompanied migrant minors—and reiterated his support for Camp Roberts to serve in that role in a recent joint press release with U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley).
“Camp Roberts is a safe and well-run site and, if selected, I will keep working with the Biden administration to provide appropriate resources to the facility and will closely monitor conditions to ensure children are cared for,” Carbajal said in the statement.
Panetta added: “As we continue to deal with the deluge of people, including unaccompanied children of all ages, coming to our southern border to try to avail themselves of our nation’s laws, we must take appropriate steps to ensure order and compassion as we apply out laws to determine their claims of asylum and attempts to legally reunify with their parents or family members.
“We have and will continue to be in contact with the Biden Administration and HHS for any further developments on their decision on Camp Roberts, and we will provide the necessary oversight for such temporary housing,” Penetta continued. “Moreover, we will continue our fight for an orderly, efficient, and safe process during the legal determination for those unaccompanied children who came here seeking their family and, ultimately, a better life.”