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UPDATE: June 3, 2021
The federal government’s plans to house unaccompanied migrant children from the United States-Mexico border at Camp Roberts have been placed on hold “indefinitely,” according to Rep. Salud Carbajal’s office.
"HHS has informed us that they do not plan to move forward with utilizing Camp Roberts to house unaccompanied minors at this time,” said Mannal Haddad, Carbajal’s communications director, in an email to the SLO Tribune.
PASO ROBLES, CA, May 18, 2021 - On Friday, May 7, Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin released a report on plans to house unaccompanied migrant children at Camp Roberts.
Mayor Martin’s report explained that the City of Paso Robles was notified of the potential to re-locate migrant children from California’s southern border to shelter facilities at Camp Roberts, just north of the city.
“In a teleconference meeting with federal officials recently we were told as many as 5,000 unaccompanied migrant children could be processed at Camp Roberts,” said Martin. “I expressed concerns about the impacts on local traffic, medical services, educational services and housing. I was told that, if children were transported to Camp Roberts, they would not arrive all at one time, but in groups of a few hundred. I was also assured medical and educational services would be handled on-base and would not impact local agencies.”
Mayor Martin also expressed concerns about the needs of staff coming from out of the area and informed officials of the already tight housing market and the city’s reliance on local hotels for the tourism trade.
“I explained the housing situation clearly,” said Martin. “I insisted that, unlike similar operations in urban areas, this could have significant impacts on our community. I was assured I would be informed on plans as they develop.”
Martin said he had requested more information and assistance from state and federal representatives, “I have reached out to Congressman Salud Carbajal, State Senator John Laird and State Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham for assistance minimizing impacts of this operation, should it be executed, and keeping the public informed.”
The Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program is overseen by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, more information on the program can be found here.