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LA Councilman Gil Cedillo Wants To Stop City Hotels From Holding Immigrant Families

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) --  Los Angeles City Councilmember Gil Cedillo said he plans to introduce a motion that would ban L.A. hotels from holding immigrant families for private security companies.

Cedillo referenced an article published by the New York Times on Sunday that said the Best Western Plus Dragon Gate Inn in Chinatown was housing immigrants transported by the MVM private security company, along with other hotels throughout the country.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts out to MVM, Inc. to transport and house unaccompanied minors and families with children in hotel rooms before their removal.

According to the Times, the security company has agreed through its current contract with ICE not to speak to the media about its activities.

CBS News previously reported a lawsuit last month to try to stop the expulsion of a group of migrant children previously detained at a Texas hotel.

"The Trump administration is holding children in secret in hotels, refusing to give lawyers access to them so it can expel them back to danger without even a chance for the children to show they warrant asylum," Lee Gelernt, an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit, told CBS News. "Unfortunately this is just the latest in a series of steps taken by the Trump administration to abuse and terrorize children."

In Los Angeles, there have been ongoing discussions about how immigrant families are held in the city.

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously in March to extend a ban on private companies from operating or creating immigrant detention centers or similar facilities.

Before the pandemic, there was also an existing proposal in the works to permanently ban immigrant detention centers and similar facilities throughout the city of Los Angeles.

"There is zero tolerance for this cruel practice by the White House to separate and detain migrant children and families, and it is unacceptable not only in the First Council District but in the city of Los Angeles or anywhere in this country,'' Cedillo said.

Cedillo plans to introduce this motion on Tuesday regarding prohibiting hotels from housing immigrants for private security companies.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill last October that bans the establishment of private detention facilities from operating in the state.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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