222 Children Reunited with FamilyRelease Date: 2021-05-18
As you know, Long Beach recently began hosting migrant children at our Convention Center as part of a humanitarian mission for our country. The support from the community has been overwhelming. You all have donated over 70,000 toys and books.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is also now releasing data on reunifications and total number of kids sheltered. As of this week, 222 children have been reunited with family or sponsors here in the United States. And there are currently 535 kids awaiting reunification. We are posting this information here.
This is good news and we must continue to focus on quick and safe reunifications. Over the last week, we also had numerous federal and state leaders visit the shelter. We welcomed U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Congressman Lowenthal, and members from the California State Latino Legislative Caucus. All were impressed with the welcoming environment and the services on-site for the children.
In particular, I want to thank Immigrant Defenders, who are onsite daily providing legal services and oversight for every child. And a huge thank you to UCLA Health who are at the shelter every day with doctors and staff monitoring and ensuring the health of every child. The data also notes that there are currently 12 COVID-positive children, down from 55 from two weeks ago. A majority of these kids show no symptoms and are cared for together. None have had medical complications.
As more children are reunified with their families and sponsors, we will be sure to keep you updated. Please also remember that we are still hosting a letter-writing drive now through May 22, for these children. You can find out more about how to get involved here.
Thank you again to all those who have donated toys, books and other fun items for these kids. I've talked to many of the kids, and they appreciate the love and care that our community has shown. I am so very proud of our city.
Mayor Robert Garcia