SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria says that housing an estimated 1,400 migrant teenage girls seeking asylum at the city's convention center is "the right thing to do."
The teenagers, mostly from Central America, are coming from overcrowded federal facilities in Arizona and Texas. The Customs and Border Protection facilities are meant to hold 250 people under COVID-19 guidelines but are now bursting with more than 4,000 people.
Gloria agreed to temporarily house the girls under a federal contract that runs thru mid-July.
The teenagers will have access to healthcare, education, legal services, religious services, and sporting activities as well as all their daily requirements. The cost, according to the Associated Press, will run $775 dollars per child, per day. It's paid for by the federal government.
Gloria said it's, "the right thing to do."
Watch the video below for a look inside the convention center shelter:
"We will do something here that makes San Diegans proud ... knowing that at their core (San Diegans) they're decent honorable people that want to do right by children. That's what this effort is intended to do," Gloria said.
When asked about the timing coming on the heels of the city moving out the remaining 600 or so homeless, who have called the convention center home during the pandemic, Gloria said the two are totally unrelated and that the plan to move homeless individuals into bridge shelters had been in the works for months.
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Gloria vowed to hold our federal partners accountable to make this a temporary home for children, without fences or tin blankets. He added that he believes San Diegans are caring and they're asking the city to do this right, in a way they can be proud.
ABC 10News also spoke with Chairman of Reform California and former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio about the shelter. He called the decision a "slap in the face to taxpayers and citizens here in San Diego," adding that the Biden Administration has worsened the situation at the southern border.
Hear DeMaio's full interview below: