At least 180 teenagers from Central America since last week have flooded into a makeshift holding facility at Port Hueneme, with the number expected to triple by next week as immigration officials seek to accommodate a surge of unaccompanied youths making their way across the southwest border.
The youths are among thousands of unaccompanied minors who have illegally crossed the Texas border since earlier this year, overwhelming that state’s detention facilities and prompting U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials to open overflow centers in several surrounding states, including California.
As of last count, Building 267 at the Naval Base Ventura County — a beige warehouse-type structure that previously served as a processing facility for sailors deploying overseas — is housing 180 unaccompanied children aged 13 to 17, mainly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Officials said the facility is expected to reach its maximum capacity of 575 children as early as next week.
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