Pleasanton Mayor Travis Hall, City Manager Johnny Huizar, EMC Philip Glass and Police Chief Ronald Sanchez held a conference call last Wednesday evening with Ben Miranda, Director of Operational Impact & Outreach for Endeavors, regarding migrant families coming to Pleasanton. Mayor Hall specifically wanted to know why the City of Pleasanton wasn’t previously notified, who Endeavors was, if the city would need to put forth any security or expenses and how long the migrants would be staying.
“What we’re doing in Pleasanton, we answered the call to request for assistance and response with the issues at the border from the Department of Homeland Security,” said Miranda.
He further explained that as Endeavors is on a contract with ICE and he could not speak on their behalf, he was unsure as to why the city was not notified beforehand. “We will offer a humane and wholistic migrant process for families and vulnerable individuals in a COVID-protected environment, critical to preventing the spread of COVID to the general population.”
Endeavors is a nonprofit organization headquartered out of San Antonio. They have provided essential services to vulnerable populations for more than 50 years. Services offered include supporting veterans, mental health and wellness, homelessness, children, migrant families and people struggling to overcome mental illness, disabilities, disasters or emergencies. Through their Migrant Services programs, they provide direct care, migrant wellness support, case management, home study and post-release services and staffing and holistic programming for unaccompanied migrant children and families since 2012. They help migrant families who are seeking protection from the persecution and deteriorating social and economic conditions in their home countries.
Miranda emphasized that most, if not all, of the approximate 170 migrants coming to Pleasanton are single-parent families, mostly made up of women and small children. He further stated that no city resources or funds will be used as Endeavors will provide 100% of the costs for services onsite at the hotel.
Endeavors will provide the following services:
• rapid COVID-19 test
• three meals per person per day
• specific cleaning/ hyper-sanitation
• hygiene kits
• laundry pick-up and delivery
• intake services including legal and cultural orientations
• medical and mental health triage
• transportation services to their final destinations
• private security detail
All migrants will be detained to the hotel premises at all times, unless an emergency causes them to be taken to a medical facility. In that case, they will be escorted by an Endeavor support staff at all times. They will not be released into Atascosa County’s general population unless family members are already here. Migrants will be held in Pleasanton for no more than 72 hours unless a medical emergency such as COVID-19 keeps them longer. Should someone test positive for COVID-19, Endeavors will follow all CDC protocols and follow proper quarantine procedures at the hotel. Once the 72 hours is up, the families will be transported by Endeavors to either the San Antonio Airport or a San Antonio bus depot in order to reach their final destinations outside of Atascosa County.
“I appreciate Endeavors for giving us a call so that we can get the truthful, factual information out to the public. It sounds like they are a professional organization, and we truly appreciate their efforts to work with us,” said Mayor Hall. “If there is anything the city can do to help [Endeavors], we will do our best. We want to make sure that these folks have a pleasant stay here. We welcome them and want them to know that we are a hospitable community.”
Pleasanton EMC Philip Glass will be working directly with Miranda and the Endeavors staff leading up to and during the families’ stay in Pleasanton.
As of Monday, April 26, the name of the hotel that the families will be staying in has not been officially announced. There is also no finalized date as to when they will be in town. However, the City of Pleasanton is in direct contact with Endeavors, ICE and the Pleasanton Express throughout the entire process. As more information unfolds, the Pleasanton Express will report updates to the community via our website at www.pleasantonexpress.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.