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HHS Secretary Becerra Visits Pomona Migrant Shelter

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

This past Friday, U.S. Secretary of Health and Welfare Xavier Becerra visited the migrant shelter located at the Pomona Fairplex.  The shelter is currently housing more than 1,300 children, most of whom have originated from Central and South America.  KVCR’s Jonathan Linden has the story.

The Fairplex was Secretary Becerra’s second stop, after touring another migrant shelter in Texas earlier in the week. Becerra told reporters that he considers the Pomona shelter a model, with the facility being over 30,000 square feet with air conditioning and some activities for the kids.

When asked about what is happening when the children are being taken in, Becerra had this to say.

We do everything from getting them vaccinated, and just not for COVID, checking their health, providing them with behavior health services, feeding them, clothing them, providing them educational services, providing them with recreational services as best we can.”

The facility stands in contrast to what had been previously reported on other migrant facilities… Where children reported having to wearing the same cloths and underwear for two-week, having food that smelled foul, and not being able to speak with a caseworker for more than 3-weeks. All this according to an AP report.

The Pomona complex, which can house up to 2,500 children, currently houses 1,381 kids.

While keeping siblings together is important to the secretary, they are also trying to keep safety in mind.

“ We try not to split up siblings, we try to make sure to keep boys and girls separated, we try to everything you could imagine that you would do for your children to make sure they’re safe.”

Up to now, there has been 1,061 from the site, with 2,605 being served in total.

Almost half of the children are from Guatemala, 30% from Honduras, and the remaining 22% being from other south and central American countries, and Cuba.

For KVCR News, I’m Jonathan Linden.

Jonathan Linden was a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and served with the station till October 2022.
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