SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. – Central Coast advocates are expressing their concerns about the potential for thousands of unaccompanied migrant children to be housed at Camp Roberts in northern San Luis Obispo County. They say it is not a place suitable for children.
“Camp Roberts is in a very rural area. There isn't much there. There isn’t access to medical attention. It gets very hot," said Paso People’s Action member Yessenia Echevarria.
They say that facilities on federal bases are not subject to the same requirements as licensed shelters. They also say the remote location of Camp Roberts limits the availability of social services and organizations that provide psychological care, language services, education and other services.
Rep. Salud Carbajal said if this plan moves forward, the migrant children will be in good hands at the base where the California National Guard trains.
“I have been working with the Biden Administration to ensure that any unaccompanied children that may or may not be housed at Camp Roberts receive the best care,'' Carbajal said.
But advocates want to have the children reunited with a family member immediately.
“It’s not just about adequate conditions,” said Echevarria. “These are children that deserve love. These are children that deserve education. They deserve to play.”
Carbajal said with the 30 day plan, children could be housed at the San Luis Obsipo County military base and within a month they would be reunited with their loved one.
According to Carbajal’s office there is no confirmation of the plan moving forward yet.
Organizations that are concerned about the use of Camp Roberts for migrant children include Allies for immigration Justice SLO County, Bend the Arc:Jewish Action SLO, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), Centro Binacionalparael Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño(CBDIO), Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success(CCC-USS),Central Coast Immigrant Network(COIN), Fund for Santa Barbara, Future Leaders of America (FLA), Immigrant Legal Defense Center (ILDC), Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP), Paso People’s Action, People of Faith for Justice, SLO, Planned Parenthood Central Coast Action Fund(PPCCAF), United Domestic Workers of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, Women’s March SLO.