By DAVID LOPEZ
Special to the NEWS
Southwest Key Programs, one of the nation’s largest non-profit shelter providers for detained migrant children, announced Monday that its CEO and founder Dr. Juan Sanchez is stepping down. The announcement comes following months of media scandals and negative allegations involving Southwest Key, including the separation of families, child abuse, and Sanchez’s salary, among others.
“Recent events have convinced me that Southwest Key would benefit from a fresh perspective and new leadership,” said Sanchez in a statement from SKW’s Board of Directors. “Widespread misunderstanding of our business and unfair criticism of our people has become a distraction our employees do not deserve.”
Following President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy that separated thousands of migrant children from their parents, SWK’s shelters saw a surge in its facilities’ populations.
San Benito currently hosts two SWK shelters–Casa Antigua and Casa Rio Grande. According to San Benito’s Public Relations Director Martha McClain, the city has no partnership with the Southwest Key facilities, as they are a private entity that operates independently of the city. “We do, however, wish them well in their endeavors,” she said.
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