Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin addresses local impact and concerns
PASO ROBLES — On Friday, May 7, Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin released a report on plans to house migrant children at Camp Roberts.
Mayor Martin’s report explained that the City of Paso Robles was notified of the potential to re-locate migrant children from California’s southern border to shelter facilities at Camp Roberts, just north of the city.
“In a teleconference meeting with federal officials recently we were told as many as 5,000 unaccompanied migrant children could be processed at Camp Roberts,” said Martin. “I expressed concerns about the impacts on local traffic, medical services, educational services and housing. I was told that, if children were transported to Camp Roberts, they would not arrive all at one time, but in groups of a few hundred. I was also assured medical and educational services would be handled on-base and would not impact local agencies.”
Mayor Martin also expressed concerns about the needs of staff coming from out of the area and informed officials of the already tight housing market and the city’s reliance on local hotels for the tourism trade.
“I explained the housing situation clearly,” said Martin. “I insisted that, unlike similar operations in urban areas, this could have significant impacts on our community. I was assured I would be informed on plans as they develop.”
Martin said he had requested more information and assistance from state and federal representatives, “I have reached out to Congressman Salud Carbajal, State Senator John Laird and State Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham for assistance minimizing impacts of this operation, should it be executed, and keeping the public informed.”
For the past week, residents in San Luis Obispo County have grown concerned over allegations that 20,000 migrant children are coming to Camp Roberts.
District 5 Supervisor, Debbie Arnold, asked County Administrative Officer (CAO), Wade Horton, for an update on the migrant children coming to Camp Roberts.
According to Horton, as of Monday, May 10, there is still only potential for the migrant children to be held at Camp Roberts and only a maximum of 5,000 children.
We also spoke with Camp Roberts Public Information Officer Luitenent Colonol Jonathan Shiroma. Their office has been instructed to direct anyone with questions about the migrant children to contact the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS).
We have made several phone calls to the HSS and could not reach a real person to speak with.
We have contacted them through email and received the following reply: “We will notify state and local officials well in advance of opening any temporary site. We have no other information to share at this time.”
According to Mayor Martin and CAO Horton, they will be receiving updates Tuesday, May 11.
This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information is available.