Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to temporarily prohibit private companies from immigration detention centers or establish or operate similar facilities in the city.
The President of the City Council, Nury Martinez, who proposed the proposal, condemned the federal government and detention center operators, saying
there is a practice of separating migrant children from their parents when they cross the border after “frightening them throughout their lives.”
The temporary prohibition applies to “shelters” for unaccompanied immigrant minors, as recommended by VisionQuest in Arleta, a predominantly Latin community.
During the council meeting, Martinez said that many local community organizations put the temporary ban back.
“The facts are just prisons or prisons for children, I think, that you are holding a minor in such a place,” she said. The thing we should do is to reunite families at the border, and we just want to have this type of detention center in our neighborhoods.
The VisionQuest representative disputed the claims of the council president in a statement to the City News Service last week, stating that the company does not operate “places of detention, and that we do not have contracts to operate them.”
“VisionQuest wants to establish a migrant shelter to provide clothing, food, schooling, housing and housing for unaccompanied minors,” said company spokesman Jeff Bender. to reach the shelter to achieve a sustainable living environment. Once again, we do not apply to places of detention. Comhdháil approved funding to provide these services to migrant shelters, and we are seeking to do so. “
VisionQuest received $ 25 million in contracts from the federal government last year to operate immigrant facilities in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
Martinez said that a proposal to permanently prohibit detention centers for immigrants is also being developed for council consideration.
The temporary prohibition will be 45 days, and the council will have the option of extending it for 10 months initially and a subsequent year.
As it was marked as an urgent direction, it immediately came into effect.
Herb Wesson also spoke in favor of the ban.
“Not in LA, not in one of the most diverse cities, unlike the most diverse cities in this country, we will sit perfect and allow that to happen, ” Wesson said last week.” To do this, and you already know that our Planning Department is working on a permanent ordinance to ensure that this does not happen. ”
Last year the council voted to create an ordinance that would prevent the building and operation of private detention facilities in Los Angeles, but
The new version includes all types of immigrant holding facilities
VisionQuest usually operates housing and services for young people
they were given by a judge or fostering services.
Martinez submitted an offer in November seeking information from the Committee
The City Planning Department and the Office of the Attorney General of the proposed Arleta
location and zoning of the site in an attempt to determine whether the area is suitable for the project.
On 6 January, a group of protesters and some local elected officials participated in a rally at the proposed site at 9120 Woodman Ave. The building was empty, two stories previously a senior living facility, according to Martinez.
Gov. Gavin Newsom bill, AB 32, in October 2019 which prevents the
establish private detention facilities from operating in the state.