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Federal Government Eyes San Diego to House Illegal Alien Children

Boys await medical appointments in a holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Nogales, Ariz. (AP/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)

San Diego could soon be home to more than 3,000 illegal alien children currently being held at inadequate and overcrowded Border Patrol facilities all along the southwest border, a California congressman confirmed with TheBlaze.

A group of 27 illegal immigrants turned themselves into Border Patrol agents June 17, in Mission, Texas, part of the Rio Grande Valley. Communities in Texas are overwhelmed by the increased number of illegal immigrants. More than 1000 people are apprehend everyday in this sector. Photo Sara A. Carter/TheBlaze. A group of 27 illegal immigrants turned themselves into Border Patrol agents in Mission, Texas, June 17, 2014. (Photo Sara A. Carter/TheBlaze)

San Diego's KGTV-TV first reported that the federal proposal would turn an abandoned elderly care facility, formerly the Sharp-Cabrillo Skilled Nursing Center, into a housing facility for the children. The facility has been closed for nearly five years.

“San Diego is a border community with real firsthand experience with illegal immigration," Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican who represents San Diego, told TheBlaze. "That makes us better situated to deal with certain things, but it’s not a reason to look at San Diego and other communities with the notion that the failures of the federal government can somehow be masked or assuaged by directing more of the burden locally. It won’t fly and Escondido proved that the other day.”

Hunter had sent several letters to the city of Escondido, California, opposing similar plans in their community. The Escondido planning commission on Tuesday voted down the federal government's plan to temporarily house some of the 52,000 children who have already entered the U.S. over the past nine months.

Hunter told TheBlaze he is opposed to the most recent plan because it does not resolve the crisis of the surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America that Obama administration officials believe will exceed 90,000 by the end of this year.

A Border Patrol official told KGTV that "no final plans have been put in place as of this moment."

"However, there are plans which include transportation of in-custody individuals to other sectors on the southwest border to assist with the processing of apprehended immigrants," the official said.

TheBlaze reported last week that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, had been preparing as early as January for a surge of at least 65,000 unaccompanied illegal immigrant children. ICE officials put out an advertisement looking for qualified contractors to transport the expected children from border holding facilities to more permanent housing facilities throughout the country.

An ICE official told TheBlaze on Monday that the contract advertisement for escorts for the minors was part of a "contingency plan," but would not elaborate on the details of those plans or what companies were awarded the contracts.

Many of the children who have crossed the border without guardians have already been transported to military installations and other shelters throughout the United States.

Follow Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) on Twitter

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