No undocumented children at Oracle boy's ranch

Published: Jul. 16, 2014 at 9:42 AM MST|Updated: Jul. 30, 2014 at 11:29 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ORACLE, AZ (Tucson News Now) - An inspection by the Oracle Fire Department has paved the way for teen boys to be transferred to the Sycamore Canyon Academy in near Oracle.

When the boys will arrive is still not known but it's likely to be soon because the request for the inspection came with a sense of "urgency".

They called yesterday and asked if we could do it this morning," says Fire Chief Larry Southard. "It passed."

Southard says the academy needed the inspection before it accepted any of the unaccompanied children.

He believes the kids housed there will be "14 to 17 years old." That would fit into the category of youth already housed at the academy,Southard inspected three cabins named Saguaro, Ocotillo and Cottonwood. Two of them will house 12 each and another is capable of handling 24. 

Meanwhile, a handful of protestors sit under a canvas canopy at the side of the road leading to the academy.Marla Beamis says, "We don't want them here."

Safety is a key issue. One resident says there is an escape every month or so from the 40 teens housed there now. Beamis says "we're compassionate but we want America to wake up."

Neither Congressional office of Raul Grijalva or Ann Kirkpatrick could confirm when the boys may be moved in but the residents believe it could be any day now. Calls to the academy were not returned.

There are new details about the bus that was supposed to carry some 40 to 60 undocumented children; they were expected to be dropped off at a boy's ranch for troubled youths on Tuesday.

According to a congressman from Southern Arizona, "There were never any plans to send that bus to a ranch in Oracle yesterday."

One corner at Mt. Lemmon Highway and American Avenue in Oracle is where all the action was. At one point it was like an old western showdown - protestors and folks welcoming the undocumented children meeting in the middle of the street.Both groups were waiting for a bus with over 40 undocumented children supposed to be heading to the Sycamore Canyon Academy.

The Department of Homeland Security reports now, they can not disclose the locations or times when they will be sending the undocumented children to shelters.

Congressman Raul Grijalva's office says the buses were not scheduled to head to Oracle, today, tomorrow or in the near future.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has a different story. He says they had information from a whistle blower in the Department of Homeland Security that told them the buses were going to be there yesterday.Sycamore Canyon Academy is the ranch where the children are expected to be placed temporarily.

They say they were told to be ready for the children by the federal government, but did not give specifics on the group's arrivalAs for the groups that were out in Oracle on Tuesday, most went home for the evening, but several of the protesters are sleeping out by the ranch.

Copyright 2014

All rights reserved.