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When the San Diego Convention Center was first repurposed as an overflow center for housing migrant children, it was only taking in teenage girls. It’s now slated to take in younger boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 12, some of whom are traveling with older teenage sisters. According to Carol Fiertz, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, siblings will be kept together rather than being separated by age and gender. About 300 teenage girls were moved out of the convention center in order to make room for the younger children coming in. As of Monday, more than 1,350 children were being held at the temporary facility. The San Diego Union-Tribune
In other national immigration news…
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Migrant Families Housed in Tent Structure and Hotels in Tucson
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are not just building a tent facility for migrant families; the city of Tucson is renting hotel rooms in local hotels to house migrants as well. A news release from Mayor Regina Romero’s office said the city has paid hotels for the last few weeks to temporarily house about 75 asylum seekers traveling as families. City officials said they did not have an estimate of the taxpayer cost for these hotel rooms and are asking the federal government to reimburse them. Meanwhile a tent facility is going up in East LosReales and is scheduled to golf 500 migrants starting in late April or early May. Tucson.com
Florida Man Stole Undocumented Immigrants’ Money And Got Them Deported
Hundreds of Florida immigrants paid Elvis Harold Reyes for driver’s licenses and work permits but were taken advantage of instead. Since 2016, he has presented himself as a philanthropist lawyer and pastor who learned about immigration law as a former FBI agent and helped immigrant communities through his nonprofit ministry. When immigrants reached out to Reyes for help, he would promise them work permits and driver’s licenses for $5,000. But instead he filed fraudulent immigration documents and intercepted communications from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and was sentenced for over 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to several charges. The Washington Post
South Carolina Governor Blocks State from Housing Unaccompanied Minors
On Monday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) issued an executive order preventing the state’s Department of Social Services from letting federal officials housing unaccompanied minors in the state. The executive order states that DSS should “prevent placements of unaccompanied migrant children … into residential group care facilities or other foster care facilities” in South Carolina because it could possibly strain the state’s system. “Allowing the federal government to place an unlimited number of unaccompanied migrant children into our state’s child welfare system for an unspecified length of time is an unacceptable proposition,” McMaster said to a letter to Brian Lech, head of South Carolina’s DSS. The Hill
Medicaid Available for Undocumented Immigrants in Virginia
Ni Kin became a U.S. permanent resident in 2002 at 70 years old, but was unable to work after moving from Myanmar because of mobility problems. As years went on, her condition worsened. But Kin didn’t have insurance and didn’t qualify for Medicaid because the state required permanent residents to provide 10 years of work history. Kin is one of thousands of Virginia permanent residents who can now qualify for Medicaid due to the termination of the 10-year work history requirement. Virginia was one of six states that had this requirement, also known as the “40 quarter rule.” Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and state legislators approved a budget last year that will eliminate the rule this month. The Associated Press
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