A number of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the southern border will soon be given temporary housing at the Pomona Fairplex, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis announced Thursday.
The 487-acre site will serve as an emergency intake site that will provide food, shelter and education until the children can be reunited with family or a sponsor.
“Unaccompanied minors are escaping gang violence, poverty, persecution, and challenges that no young person should have to endure,” Solis said in a statement announcing the use of the Fairplex.
“This is not a border crisis – but, instead, it is everyone’s crisis,” she added.
It was unclear how many children will be housed at the Fairplex or when they will arrive.
The Fairplex will be the second site in LA County to house the children. Long Beach earlier this week agreed to use of its convention center.
The U.S. government picked up nearly 19,000 children traveling alone across the Mexican border in March, authorities said Thursday, the largest monthly number ever recorded.
The huge increase in children traveling alone — some as young as 3 — and families has severely strained border holding facilities, which aren’t allowed to hold people for more than three days but often do. It’s left the government scrambling to find space and hire staff to care for children longer term until they can be placed with sponsors.
The issue has become a major test for President Joe Biden as he reverses many of his predecessor’s hardline immigration tactics.