Pomona Fairplex Emergency Intake Site Closes As Children Are Reunited with their Family Members
Updated: Sep 23, 2022
For Immediate Release
October 26, 2021
Contact: Lorena Bourdevaire
LOS ANGELES - After more than 8,200 migrant children have been safely reunited with family members or sponsors, the Pomona Fairplex Emergency Intake Site is set to close ahead of schedule on November 19, 2021. Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) is pleased to see the site is closing, which signifies that capacity in smaller shelters and foster homes has grown.
The Pomona facility, which opened on May 1st, served children between 5 and 17-years-old and was one of several emergency sites set up around the country to shelter children escaping violence and danger who would have otherwise remained trapped in dangerous conditions in overcrowded Border Patrol facilities.
Immigrant Defenders provided legal education and consultations to the children at the shelter and is thankful for the additional support of our sister organizations CHIRLA and PEOC, among others.
Since the Pomona Fairplex Emergency Intake Site opened, ImmDef’s Detained Youth Empowerment Project team conducted 2,726 legal screenings and 9,334 Know Your Rights Presentations, designed to help educate minors about their right to seek asylum in the United States. The average stay at this EIS location was 17 days.
“ImmDef is grateful for the collaboration between stakeholders, local government, and community partners to welcome immigrant children with dignity at the Pomona Fairplex Emergency Intake Site. ImmDef and our community partners worked closely to hold the administration accountable to ensure that this emergency site was as child-friendly as possible,” said ImmDef’s Directing Attorney Mickey Donovan-Kaloust.
“We are proud to have empowered thousands of children with legal knowledge and access to legal consultations. It is relieving to see that the administration has honored the emergency nature of this site and that it is being closed down in favor of smaller, home-like facilities while children await family reunification," said Donovan-Kaloust.
“I feel fortunate to have served and helped the children that came through the Pomona EIS. I am happy because ImmDef’s presence and local government partners ensured high standards at the site,” said ImmDef’s Managing Attorney, Eric Vera. “While the site is now closed, we must continue advocating for children across the country and do our best to ensure that this administration respects, protects, and strengthens the rights of unaccompanied minors.”
We know how important it is for all children to be provided with a safe environment and the knowledge they need to ensure their rights are respected. We are honored to have advocated for these children along with our partners, like Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, and local government, like LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, to make the Pomona Fairplex Emergency Intake Center as welcoming as possible.
Immigrant Defenders Law Center urges the Biden administration to end harmful policies like Title 42 and the Migrant Protection Protocols and restore the right to seek asylum for all so we can move towards a new vision of welcoming all migrants seeking protection with dignity.
Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) is a next-generation social justice law firm that defends our immigrant communities against injustices in the immigration system. We envision a future where no immigrant will be forced to face an unjust immigration system alone. Our programs are a first step towards the long-term goal of providing universal representation to all immigrants facing deportation. ImmDef is the largest non‐profit, pro bono provider of deportation defense in Southern California with offices in Los Angeles, Adelanto, Riverside, Santa Ana, and San Diego.