LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to temporarily ban private companies from establishing or operating immigrant detention centers within the city limits.

The temporary ban also applies to so-called shelters for unaccompanied immigrant minors, like the one company VisionQuest has proposed in Arleta — a predominantly Latino neighborhood.

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City Council President Nury Martinez, who championed the proposal, criticized the federal government and detention center operators, saying the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents when they cross the border has “scarred them for life.”

“The fact that you are holding minors in such a place, in my opinion, (they) are just simply prisons or jails for children,” she said. “We know they’ve caused misery and pain for countless others. What we should be doing instead of separating families at the border is reuniting them, and we simply do not want this type of detention center in our neighborhoods.”

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A VisionQuest representative previously disputed Martinez’s claims in a statement to City News Service that read, in part:

“VisionQuest is looking to establish a migrant shelter to provide clothing, food, schooling, medical care and housing for unaccompanied minors. Our goal is to reunite them with family members or a foster family within 90 days of arriving at the shelter to get to a point of a stable living environment. Once again, we are not associated with detention centers. Congress approved funding to provide these services for migrant shelters, and we are looking to do just that.”

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The temporary ban, which immediately went into effect, will last 45 days. The council will then have the option to extend it for an additional 10 months, and up to one more year after that.

Councilman Herb Wesson has previously spoken in favor of the ban.

“Not in L.A., not in one of the most diverse, if not the most diverse, cities in this country will we sit idly by and let this happen,” he said last week.

Martinez said a proposal to permanently ban immigrant detention centers was also being developed for council consideration.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)