Application for facility to house undocumented migrant children under consideration in Kansas City

KMBZ News Staff
March 09, 2020 - 6:49 am
The former Kindred Hospital at 87th and Troost

KMBC 9 News


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City, Missouri City Planning Commission is considering requests from an Arizona-based company to create a facility for undocumented migrant children in the metro.

Vision Quest has filed multiple special-use permit applications with the Planning Commission to convert the old Kindred Hospital at 87th and Troost into a for-profit facility for undocumented migrant children, and opposition to the proposal is growing.

Genevra Alberti, Attorney at immigration nonprofit The Clinic at Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law, told KMBZ well-run facilities for detention of migrant children are a necessity, and are required by law, but that Vision Quest's track record leaves much to be desired. 

"There's a good reason for these shelters to exist," Alberti said. "I think it's just, in Kansas City, we don't want Vision Quest here because we know they have this bad record. And we know that they may not be treating these children properly, and that would be a stain on our community."

Vision Quest has been accused of physical and emotional abuse of children, and more than a dozen deaths have been reported of children in their care over a 25-year span.

Alberti added that even though many city officials oppose the plan, keeping Vision Quest out of Kansas City may not be so cut-and-dry. Because there's no rezoning request, the matter won't have to go before the city council, where it's likely to run into trouble. 

"If the Commission recommends approval, then it goes to the Board of Zoning Adjustments," Alberti explained. "If they approve it, that's it. It doesn't go to the City Council, because there's no rezoning request involved"

In that event, Alberti and other migrants rights activists plan to appeal the decision with the State of Missouri. 

The City Planning Commission is set to review Vision Quest's applications on Tuesday, March 17. 

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