Coalition of 26 Local Advocacy Groups Testify Against Child Detention
UNIVERSAL CITY — Last night, members of the SA Stands coalition spoke out against a second proposal for a child detention center at the Universal City Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. The Commission voted unanimously 7-0 to recommend against the rezoning request that would have allowed the facility. City Council will have the final vote on January 21.
VisionQuest, a for-profit company with a history of child abuse, submitted a proposal for the facility last year. That first proposal was voted down by both the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council in November, 2019. The more recent proposal was later submitted by a church who plans to sublease the property to VisionQuest. A similar proposed facility was also rejected by the San Antonio Zoning Commission and City Council late last year.
An overflowing room of advocates and residents once again demonstrated clear community opposition to the detention center. Twenty-two speakers, all against the proposal. Before announcing his vote, Commission Chairman Ronald Jackson repeated SA Stands’ reference to Universal City’s Zoning Ordinance, saying that the proposal does not match the ordinance’s purpose “to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of the present and future citizens of the city”.
VisionQuest strategy in both Universal City and San Antonio is to target vulnerable black churches in order to further their profits in the name of religious liberty. This predatory false narrative should not be permitted. We continue to encourage all of the faith community to reject VisionQuest’s attempts to detain immigrant children.