Northern California county ends youth immigrant contract

News

Omar Ramirez, 12, left, mops up a spill while he plays video games with Cristian Molina, right, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, in San Antonio. Ramirez, from El Salvador, was separated from his father and held for five months in a shelter overseen by the Office of Refugee Resettlement after he entered the United States illegally earlier in the year. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

WOODLAND, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California county is ending its decade-old contract with the federal government to house troubled immigrant children.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Yolo County supervisors voted Tuesday to end their contract with the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to house migrant teenagers in a high-security detention center in Woodland.

The facility west of Sacramento is one of two in the nation for teens who entered the country unaccompanied by a parent and are considered dangerous to themselves or others.

Supervisors last year debated the moral implications of housing the immigrants, but this year Supervisor Jim Provenza said there are other local needs for the facility.

It can house up to 24 minors. It has housed about 800 teens since 2008.

But the center has held fewer than 17 youths on average this year, including local juvenile offenders.

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