They plan to put a shelter for unaccompanied minors in the San Fernando Valley,

President of the LA council goes against private detention centers for immigrants

Photos taken by government auditors in ICE detention centers.

Document screenshot / Impremedia

The president of the city council of Los Angeles, Nury Martínez proposed an ordinance to temporarily prohibit private companies from operating detention centers including so-called shelters for unaccompanied immigrant minors.

If this temporary motion is approved, it will be applied only as long as the town hall staff finishes writing a complete ordinance.

This is the second motion that Martínez has submitted in response to the efforts of VisionQuest, a controversial for-profit company, which aims to open a center for unaccompanied immigrant minors in the Arleta community, located in the councilor's district.

This is the 6th district of the Council that covers the north of the San Fernando Valley, and neighborhoods such as Van Nuys, Lake Balboa, Sun Valley, Panorama City, Arleta, North Hollywood and North Hills East.

The president of the Los Angeles council, Nury Martínez wants private centers to stop immigrants and unaccompanied minors from being banned in the city. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

The motion presented by Martinez asks city staff to write a temporary motion, which is expected to be put to the vote by the Council on Wednesday

"Our legislation is a great step forward to ban detention centers in the city of Los Angeles. I will not sit idly by and allow profit companies to become rich with the anguish and suffering of immigrant children in Arleta, or anywhere else in Los Angeles, ”said the council president.

VisionQuest has a controversial track record for employing what is known as disciplinary therapy, and should not be close to children, many of whom have undoubtedly been traumatized by the inhuman treatment of the federal government, he said.

He added that the community and its followers are united in their opposition to this prison for minors, and others who could follow.

Martínez filed another motion in November 2019 in which he asks the Planning Department and the Department of Security and Construction of the City to report on the potential impact of opening a privately operated center in Arleta and if it would be allowed under the current process of municipality.

They do not want private detention centers in Los Angeles. (Getty Images)

Joseph Villela, lobbyist of the Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants (CHIRLA) applauded the ordinances proposed by Martínez, and criticized that instead of proposing alternatives for immigrant adults and children to fight their cases freely, the only thing that comes to mind The current government is expanding detention centers.

"Other options must be sought for immigrants fleeing violence from their countries", said.

“A recent study of the Trac (Transactional Record Access Clearinghouse) system, revealed that 99% of immigrants released, go to court to fight their cases. It is not true that they disappear as it is used as an excuse to expand private migration centers, ”he said.

He further stated that these centers are not effective, and their conditions are inhuman.

“In the last 18 months we have had four deaths of minors in the centers of the Migration and Customs Service (ICE) and private ones. So they should ban them instead of expanding, ”he remarked.

Villela said that the private shelter for immigrant children that wants to open in the San Fernando Valley is not the first one that has been wanted to be established, it was already tried to do the same in the Inland-Empire region, but thanks to the mobilization of the community , was avoided.


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