FAIRFIELD — City Councilwoman Catherine Moy says she’s asked to tour the Fairfield property owned by a religious organization that helps house Central American youths who crossed the American border.
“I want to know exactly what is going on,” Moy said.
The councilwoman has also asked the Fairfield city staff to review use of the property along Pennsylvania Avenue near Interstate 80 and Air Base Parkway.
Moy said she knows the Texas-based Baptist Child and Family Services has received substantial funding from the U.S. government.
“If the federal government is dumping these children in Fairfield without contacting our city, it is irresponsible, irrational and poison policy,” the city councilwoman said. “I expect answers.”
“They should tell us if they are doing this,” she said of federal officials.
Moy said along with a tour she is requesting to see tax return forms of the nonprofit religious organization. She has also contacted Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, who represents the 3rd Congressional District that includes Fairfield.
David White, city manager for Fairfield, said Tuesday the municipality does not know if immigrant children are residing at the Pennsylvania Avenue property.
The Baptist organization bid this month to buy a Texas hotel and convert the 600-bed site to house child migrants detained at the border for 15 days, but withdrew the proposal.
A man at the Pennsylvania Avenue property Tuesday provided the business card of a BCFS media representative, who could not be reached for comment.
“Fairfield residents should know what is happening in their neighborhoods,” Moy said. “It is outrageous that millions upon millions of taxpayers dollars are being spent under a veil of secrecy.”
“We need to know the who, what, where and why of this facility to ensure public safety and health, as well as the health of those who allegedly have traveled thousands of miles and crossed into the U.S.A. without permission from the government,” she said.
Moy also said: “As an Hispanic whose grandparents immigrated to the United States legally to be field workers, I understand the motivation for those fleeing dangerous, economically depressed countries.”
The Fairfield city councilwoman said she had complaints from neighbors about the property, involving problems unrelated to whether recently arrived Central American immigrant youths reside there.
Issues residents raised included bright lights around the site, Moy said.
She said she knows the religious group cares for youths at the site but doesn’t know what happens once they reach adult age.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.