Congress Committee Investigating Migrant Youth Shelter in El Cajon - NBC Southern California

Congress Committee Investigating Migrant Youth Shelter in El Cajon

The Committee on Oversight and Reform invited staff from Congressmember Juan Vargas’ office to tour the migrant youth detention center in San Diego's East County

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    El Cajon Migrant Youth Shelter Under Investigation

    NBC 7's Melissa Adan reports from outside the shelter where staffers of local Congressmembers were given a tour. (Published Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019)

    A San Diego County-based migrant youth detention center is under investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

    On Thursday morning staffers of local congressmembers inspected one of the detention centers known as CASA El Cajon, which is operated by Southwest Key Programs, Inc.

    The Committee on Oversight and Reform invited staff from Congressmember Juan Vargas’ office to tour the migrant youth detention center located at 1160 Broadway in El Cajon, in San Diego's East County.

    The meeting lasted about two hours.

    A democratic aide from the Committee on Oversight and Reform told NBC 7 the committee is continuing its investigation into the Trump Administration’s child separation policy and the immigration detention system.

    Southwest Key Programs has faced controversy within the past year.

    NBC 7 Investigates has uncovered allegations ranging from the neglect of children to issues with employees.

    A lawsuit filed two months ago claims migrant children were denied medical and mental health care. Several employees also claimed they worked overtime without pay and were denied meals, breaks, and access to bathrooms.

    Southwest Key Programs shared this statement with NBC 7:

    “We regularly open our doors to Members of Congress and their staff. We’ve hosted dozens of similar visits across our network of licensed shelters. During these tours, guests typically spend time talking with our clinicians, case managers and teachers, briefly chatting with those in our care and learning more about the daily activities, medical services, recreation, vocational services and educational instruction we provide.”

    The democratic aide said committee staff are conducting bipartisan inspections of detention facilities and gathering information on the ground and will report back to the Committee.

    Earlier this year, Southwest Key Programs CEO Juan Sanchez resigned.