SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Hundreds of migrant children will arrive in San Diego Friday, where they will be housed at the city’s convention center.
According to a spokesperson for the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approximately 37 children under 12 arrived in Friday morning, and about 222 more are expected into the night.
City officials said 300 teen girls who had been staying at the convention center were transferred to a site at Fort Bliss in Texas.
The move will allow for San Diego to take in “an equal number of ‘tender-age’ children (ages 5 to 12) who have been in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” according to city officials.
The first group of unaccompanied migrant children first arrived in San Diego on March 27. The group was primarily girls age 13-17.
Earlier this week, after several more groups of children were taken in, the convention center reached its capacity of 1,450.
According to the city, the convention center “will operate in this capacity until July 15.”
While at the convention center, the children will be provided with food, health care, education, legal help and case management.
City officials said any child who tests positive for COVID-19 will not be transferred from the San Diego site.
In a joint statement, Mayor Todd Gloria, Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher and Vice Chair Nora Vargas said:
“San Diego was chosen as the best place for the most vulnerable younger children because of the high standards of care that our local service providers like South Bay Community Services and Rady Children’s Hospital have set. We are incredibly proud of the work they have done in such a short period of time. Regardless of the ages of the children arriving, San Diego will give them the compassionate support they need as they await the day they’re connected with the family members or guardians who will care for them here in the United States.”