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By Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2018 (El Cajon) – Following news reports that a shelter for immigrant children in El Cajon failed to report several runaway youths to state authorities, the El Cajon City Council will add a discussion of the problems to the Council’s agenda at its December 11th meeting.

The facility run by Southwest Key houses primarily unaccompanied minors but also some children separated from parents at the international border.

“El Cajon does not have any legal authority over the facility's operations,” Councilman Steve Goble told East County Magazine. But he says that he and Councilman Gary Kendrick plan to ask the Council to direct City staff to take two actions:  1) meet with the local facility's director for a response to the recent news articles, and 2) write a letter on behalf of the Council to the CA State Dept of Social Services.

 “We want to know from them directly if the facility is in compliance with applicable state laws,” Councilman Goble adds.

Following East County Magazine’s recent article on the situation, Councilman Goble advised our publication via e-mail that he is “bothered” by the revelations about missing children at this shelter and allegations of abuse at other migrant child shelters in other states.  “Thanks for your spotlight on this,” he said.

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