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The Corydon

The Student News Site of Millikan High

The Corydon

A Far Walk From Home for Migrant Children


By Arriyon Byers
Podcast Editor

With a unanimous vote of 9-0, the Long Beach City Council has approved the plan to use the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center to provide emergency shelter, food, and recreational activities to children affected by ongoing humanitarian conditions at the U.S-Mexico border. The Long Beach Convention Center has become the second temporary facility in California for unaccompanied children.

Under this arrangement, The Long Beach Convention Center will temporarily house up to 1,000 children for a period of 90 to 120 days. They will be provided with three meals a day, medical and health evaluations, recreational conveniences, educational services, and more importantly, be reunited with relatives or sponsors. Additionally, to ease public concern, the police chief has confirmed the feds will handle security inside and out, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, will not be included.

On Tuesday, April 6th, Long Beach City Mayor, Dr. Robert Garcia publicly announced in an interview with CBS Los Angeles news, “We have a massive humanitarian challenge that is happening across the border. We also know that these are children and these are kids and our focus needs to be to ensure that these kids–that are minors, and that are here for a variety of reasons–and no fault to their own, they need our help.” 

City leaders and other staff members also clarified that before the children officially arrive in Long Beach, every child will have family members or sponsors already identified, seeing that this was a major issue last year with the Trump administration. 

To many Long Beach residents, this temporary housing plan was seen as “band-aid solution to a bigger problem”, which is why multiple advocacy groups and protestors rallied outside the Long Beach Convention Center to voice their disastifaction. On Saturday, April 10th, following the approval of the migrant detention center, social activists from Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition and other allied organizations stormed the streets of downtown Long Beach to rally against the decision to house undocumented migrant youth. 

Photograph of Advocacy groups marching to protest City’s Council approval of migrant detention center at Long Beach Convention Center.

Executive director of Long Beach, James Suazo, disclosed, “We cannot support the expansion of detention facilities, incarceration of children and the continued criminalization of immigrants.” Since the federal government, which has a long history of performing abuse and mistreatment of youth in detention centers, will be operating the facility, organizers of this protest demand “transparency” and “full access” to the child migrants, to ensure they are receiving everything they need.

A Long Beach native and MBA Senior, Daniela Duarte remarks, “I think it’s a good idea to have them in a safe location–away from their previous, poor living conditions, but I think if they are taking some migrant children, it’s better to take them all and find a bigger place of refuge.” She adds, “With these kids I feel as though we already know they’re current living conditions and although it may appear as ‘better’, it’s still not home to them.”

In response to this commotion, the mayor of Long Beach announced that the city will work with the federal government to quickly create an online site, where people or groups can sign up to volunteer at the shelter or to make donations. The Long Beach Humanitarian Family Reunification Efforts has already publicly launched a Migrant Support Fund and Volunteer interest form for anyone interested in donating toys, books or money, or even signing up for volunteer opportunities. If you feel inclined to help out, you’re more than welcomed to click on the hyperlinks issued above for more detailed information. Until then, city officials will be working hard to reunite these children refugees with identified relatives and/or sponsors. 

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  • S

    Sheccid SotoMay 13, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    May 13, 2021

    Dear Corydon Editor,

    In Issue 8 (May 1, 2021), Arriyon Byers wrote an article titled ‘’A Far Walk From Home For Migrant Children’’. In this article, the writer mentions the approval of the Long Beach City Council to have the Long Beach Convention Center as an emergency shelter for 100,000 migrant children who were affected by the continuous humanitarian conditions taking place at the U.S Mexico Border. Arriyon Byers also included that the children will stay at this shelter for 90-120 days which will provide 3 meals a day, medical and health evaluations, educational services including recreational activities, and the number one goal which is to reunite them with their families and sponsors. The police chief has also taken measures for the children to be in good hands with top-tier security and ICE will be excluded from their plan to keep the children safe and sound. The public and many families had tranquility knowing that the children are protected and being well taken care of. The Mayor of Long Beach, Dr. Robert Garcia also played a huge role in having the city council approve the idea of creating a temporary house at the Convention Center for unaccompanied migrant children. I believe that what the city leaders and other staff members are doing to keep this arrangement organized which is, having every child and their family members as well as sponsors now identified so there wouldn’t be any chaos is a lot better than what the Trump administration did for the children. Having the children in the Long Beach Convention Center just makes me feel proud of my city and its movements in creating a safe and comforting place for the children to stay. This place is not home but it is secure and will definitely provide love and warm hospitality to the children, which is something that detention centers for youth immigrants will never offer.


    Sheccid Soto, Grade 12

  • F

    faith jonesMay 12, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    Dear Corydon Editor,
    In Issue 8 (May 1, 2021) Arriyon Byers wrote an article titled “ A Far Walk From Home For Migrant Children”. In the article, I like how the author gives facts about what she will be talking about throughout the article. This includes a where, who, and why which would be The Long Beach Convention Center, children, and as for why… the conditions of “humanitarian conditions at the US-Mexico border”. The article goes on to talk about how these children will be cared for, fed three times a day and be monitored health-wise then eventually be reunited with families. My favorite part about this whole situation is that ICE and other enforcement will not be involved in this action. Some see this help as a “band-aid solution to a bigger problem” which is true. Housing these kids for 90-120 days is not enough because the problem will only escalate and end up in the same boat as before. The important thing is that the children are safe and being taken care of which should be the main focus along with finding better and bigger solutions. A solution would not be sending these kids to detention centers for youth immigrants, that would only make it worse. To summarize what Arriyon said about the detention centers, the government is known to harm these children such as abuse, and them being out of these centers protects them for the time being but more needs to be done.


    Faith Jones, Grade 12