ESCONDIDO, California-Tensions ran high as an estimated 500 people packed Escondido City Hall, flowing into the foyer and courtyard, for a planning meeting Tuesday night to voice their opinions on a proposed 96-person, illegal alien youth detention facility.
Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, a representative from Congressman Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)’s office, local residents, and anti-illegal immigration activists showed up to voice opposition to the project. Congressman Hunter has posted a letter to Escondido’s Mayor stating the annual cost of running the facility as approximately $6-7 million.
Congressman Hunter’s letter stated, “The solution must involve changes to the [Obama] Administration’s underlying immigration policies and a commitment to return the children to their homes as soon as possible.”
A source present at the meeting reported that the facility proposed to house children from the ages of six to seventeen, but would likely house mainly those in their early teens, based on statements made during the meeting. The public voiced concern over giving up local control of the property to federal authority. Significant reduction in value of properties located near the facility was another concern of Escondido residents.
One local woman made a statement that an illegal alien had killed her child. Safety for those in the area is another main issue cited in opposing the project.
Exclusive video interviews obtained by Breitbart News records Escondido residents Katherine Rodriguez and Duncan Fane and their reasons for opposition to the detention facility proposition.
The requested permit for the facility was reportedly denied at last night’s meeting; however, continued attempts may be made to push for the facility’s approval.
Southwest Key is the company vying to run the facility under a five-year lease and with funding from the City of Escondido and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Southwest Key operates 68 programs in six states, according to their website. That includes Texas, Arizona, California, Georgia, New York, and Wisconsin. The most common countries those housed at these facilities are from are El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Guatemala.
Since last October, droves of unaccompanied illegal alien youth have been pouring into the U.S. at the southern border. Many are coming from Central American countries, as reports say their families have heard children that make it across will be allowed to stay in the country. Over 174,000 children and families have reportedly been arrested coming over the U.S.-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley since last October.
Recently, plans to transfer some of the children and families from overcrowded Texas detention facilities to other locations in California and Arizona have been opposed by the public. On June 14, Brandon Darby, who has been at the forefront of reporting on the issue of overcrowded illegal alien detention facilities, told Breitbart News Saturday the Obama administration has plans to shift the children between holding facilities to avoid local and state child services inquiry. If the children are kept on federal property, there is less opportunity for investigation.