RIVERSIDE – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) released this statement on Monday following an announcement that the General Services Administration (GSA) is looking to lease space in the Inland Empire to detain unaccompanied children.
On Aug. 5, the GSA, which oversees the leasing and construction of federal buildings, posted a notice indicating a desire to lease space for 15 to 17 years in the Inland region.
The proposed facility would provide 24-hour care and accommodation for approximately 430 children. The area under consideration is from the 210 Freeway in San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties to the 91 Freeway in Riverside.
Takano stated: “It seems like almost every day, we learn of new despicable ways President Trump is targeting immigrants, making it harder for asylum seekers to find refuge in America, and instilling fear in our communities. My Democratic colleagues in Congress and I, along with the American people, have condemned the cruelty, neglect, and human rights abuses being perpetrated against immigrants in detention facilities at our southern border and across the country.
“Since before announcing its family separation policy, the Trump Administration orchestrated a crisis at the border and has made it difficult for immigrants to apply for asylum. Families are being torn apart and children are being held in detention facilities in violation of long-standing immigration policies, like the Flores Agreement. The need for more facilities to house immigrant children is a direct result of the president’s anti-immigrant agenda.
“In the Inland Empire, and in California, we support immigrant rights, providing safety to asylum seekers, and respecting the dignity of all people. This facility is contrary to the American values we cherish, of being an inclusive and welcoming nation of immigrants. Since this announcement was made, I have heard from constituents who have expressed outrage and concern over the establishment of such a facility in our community and I stand firmly with them in opposition to more child detention centers.
“The atrocious treatment of immigrant children must come to an end. In Congress, we must continue performing our oversight duties and working diligently to address the humanitarian crisis the Trump Administration has created.”