By CBSLA Staff

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra dropped by Thursday to visit the migrant children intake center at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Becerra, a Los Angeles native who previously served as California’s attorney general, visited the migrant children intake center to get a first-hand look at the facility.

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“If you’re a parent like me, you know what it means to treat a child with respect,” Becerra said. “And I want to tell the people of Long Beach, you’re treating kids with respect.”

He said that 70,000 toys and books have been donated to the intake center, where about 700 children are currently being housed until they can be reunited with family or matched with a sponsor.

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The residents of Long Beach have generous and welcoming to the migrant children who arrived at the facility earlier this month. The city developed a website to accept donations and screen volunteers, after the city was stunned by an onslaught of interest in response to Mayor Robert Garcia’s call for help.

The city is also launching a letter-writing campaign for members of the community who want to encourage the children. Letters can be submitted through May 22, and must be in English or Spanish on one side of an 8.5×11 sheet of paper, contain appropriate pictures and drawings, and be placed in an unsealed envelope. Letters are being accepted from 10 a.m. too 3 p.m. at the Long Beach Library and it’s to-go locations, and at several area hotels, including Golden Sails Hotel, the Hilton Long Beach, Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport, Long Beach Airport Marriott, and Westin Long Beach.

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“This type of compassion is what Long Beach is all about,” Garcia said in a statement.