Arleta

Proposed Site to House Immigrant Children in SoCal Draws Protests

“It’s gonna be a prison for kids, and it’s especially offensive because it’s in an immigrant community,” a protester and teacher said.

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A site in Arleta that was previously a senior living facility could be one of two locations in Southern California being considered as a housing facility for unaccompanied minors from Central America.

Some residents, though, are drumming up opposition in the hopes the site, which is located off Nordhoff Street and Woodman Avenue, will not soon house undocumented immigrant children.

“We need to shut it down because we support that families belong together, and we need the country to embrace humanity," Wendy Lozano, a protester, said.

A company called “Visionquest” is making the decision on whether to use the site, but the company did not respond to a request to comment on the site. Last month, however, Visionquest stated they had not yet finalized which locations they would use to house the undocumented children.

That statement led to an outcry in this community.

One grandmother came forward and said her two granddaughters were in the infamous cages in Texas last year and continue to struggle with what they experienced even now.

“I think no psychologist--no therapy can cure that,” Mayra Todd, the grandmother, said.

Congressman Tony Cardenas stopped by the location Monday and says he can’t see any outcome that works if the plan remains to house immigrant children, and he says he can’t get any answers from Washington.

“This administration, keeping everything to themselves and caging children without answering to the public, the taxpayers and people providing those resources, is inappropriate on the face of it,” the Democratic congressman said.

Nancy Burawski, a protester and a Los Angeles Unified School District teacher, said, “It’s gonna be a prison for kids, and it’s especially offensive because it’s in an immigrant community.”

The teacher said a detention center at the site would be a slap in the face to those who call the area home.

“There’s going to be immigrant kids walking to school and passing this building," Burawski said. "I mean, it's just horrible.”

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