DHS says Concord facility will not be used as migrant detention center

Concord city officials said there will be no immigration detention facilities established at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station, according to the U.S Department of Homeland Security. 

The announcement was made at a special meeting Wednesday inside the council chambers at Concord City Hall by Director of Community Reuse Planning Guy Bjerke. He read an email to the crowd from the Contra Costa County Sheriff that said no relocation camps would be established in Concord, or anywhere in California, at this time.

Following the development, many residents spoke up to say they want the council to keep pressure on.

“We want confirmation from the Navy that they have halted the project and are no longer considering the naval weapons station,” Adyol Vera, a resident, said.

“I’m encouraged, but I really encourage the council to make sure that they keep at it and keep fighting for us,” Gemma Demarco, another resident, said.

Time Magazine reported Friday the former Concord Naval Weapons Station was being considered as a site to house roughly 47,000 migrants. Councilmember Tim McGallian said the site was unsafe and an immigrant facility would devastate Concord.

“This would hurt us,” McGallian said. “To have something like this in Concord, just our region, it would hurt our region. We hope something like this would not happen at all.”

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier’s office released a statement upon confirming the news.

“I am pleased the effort to turn Concord Naval Weapons Station into a detention facility has been halted. As we advised the Administration, the Concord Naval Weapons Station is an unsafe and inhabitable environment, and to propose housing almost 50,000 people there was both dangerous and immoral. We fought this proposal along with our local officials and dedicated community and will continue to fight against the inhumane and unjust policies proposed by this Administration. It is important not to let our guard down as one tweet can change things.”

Concord city officials said they would still like confirmation from the U.S. Navy that the former weapons station would not be used to house immigrants.