San Diego

Immigration Activists Call on San Diego County Supervisors to Help Migrants

The Immigration Justice League rallied downtown Monday

Update: On Friday, Jan. 18, the Immigration Justice League released a statement to NBC 7 retracting information it had previously released at a public news conference earlier in the month. The statement reads in part: “IJL learned there is more than one facility for detaining asylum seekers and immigrants in the Otay Mesa area. IJL now understands the Otay Mesa Detention Center, operated by CoreCivic, does not detain children. We regret the error in identifying Otay Mesa Detention Center as the location of the abuse. We remain very concerned that child abuse is occurring in at least one facility near the border.”

As San Diego County officials were sworn into office Monday downtown, activists were rallying outside the county administration building, advocating for migrant rights. 

The Immigration Justice League said they are prepared to file a child abuse report against the County Board of Supervisors claiming that a 5-year-old migrant boy was physically and emotionally abused near the border.

In the report, the league said the San Diego County Board of Supervisors is "directly responsible," adding that children in detention centers are denied proper clothing, bathrooms, blankets and places to sleep. 

"We need to treat all with humanity, dignity, and respect," said Nathan Fletcher, Supervisor for District 3. 

In a statement to NBC 7, Rodney E. King, manager of public affairs for CoreCivic, denied the report filed by the league: 

Immigration Justice League's report charging abuse against an unnamed 5-year old at the Otay Mesa Detention Facility is completely false. Otay Mesa Detention Center, owned and operated by CoreCivic, houses only adult male and female detainees. There are not now, nor have there ever been, any minor detainees housed at the facility.

Furthermore, CoreCivic has never held minor children that are not accompanied by a parent at any of the detention facilities owned or operated by the company. There is one facility (South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas) that serves minor children and their mothers.

Multiple supervisors said they would be unveiling a plan regarding rights of immigrants. 

"We need to try to identify an appropriate site that could be used as a migrant asylum seeker's shelter," said Greg Cox of District 1. 

Sheriff Bill Gore and San Diego County District Attorney, Summer Stephan were among the county officials sworn into office. 

Stephan also addressed community concerns about migrants, adding she herself comes from a family of immigrants. 

"Immigrants should understand when they're on San Diego County soil they are protected under our state laws," said Stephan. "My team will guard and protect them from harm." 

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