Two adolescent girls -- one from Honduras and one from Guatemala -- who had been taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border and held at a facility in Contra Costa County for around a month have been reunited with their families.
The girls, ages 13 and 17, were reunited with one parent each last Sunday and Monday, according to Pleasant Hill spokesman Martin Nelis.
In late June, city officials confirmed that the two children were being held at a shelter in the city run by federal contractor Southwest Key, a nonprofit agency that runs shelters for migrant children.
The facility was holding 25 minors at that time, with ages ranging from 12 to 17 years old, Southwest Key officials said.
The girls held there were among around 50 separated children who, at one point, were living in 17 state-licensed shelter facilities in California, according to the state Department of Social Services.
Families opposed to the Trump administration's zero tolerance immigration policy that led to the separation of migrant children from their parents held a protest in front of the Pleasant Hill facility several weeks ago.
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) took a tour of the shelter, recently visited the border, and was told by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the girls were reunited with their families in the last week.
"I'm relieved," DeSaulnier said in an interview Thursday afternoon.
"But it's hard not to be troubled after visiting with them and then going down to the border and seeing what can only be described as a politically created humanitarian crisis that is done in the name of Americans by this administration," DeSaulnier said.
A Southwest Key official said the federal government prohibits the company from talking about individual children.
"At the direction of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Southwest Key has fulfilled every request to bring children under our care to designated locations for reunification. Our staff have worked hard to provide for the children's comfort and safety throughout the entire process," company spokesman Jeff Eller said in an emailed statement.
Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for HHS, did not respond to specific questions about the Southwest Key facility in Pleasant Hill. Instead, Wolfe pointed toward an agency website that includes updates on the department's plan for reunifying migrant children.
DeSaulnier said the two girls were most likely taken to a facility near the border, but federal officials did not brief him on their whereabouts.
"I don't know why they tell us some things and hold things from us," DeSaulnier said. "It's just part of this administration."
The Trump administration is facing a court-ordered deadline Thursday to reunite migrant families separated at the border.
The government has identified 2,551 kids, ages 5 to 17, who were taken from their parents by immigration authorities.
Correction: This post has been updated to reflect that one of the girls is from Honduras, and one from Guatemala. A previous version of this story stated that both girls were from Guatemala.