San Diego, Sep 7 (EFE).- The city council of Escondido, California, this week will discuss the proposal to build a shelter for Central American minors who cross the country's southern border illegally, a project that has already been preliminarily rejected by city hall.

In the face of the refusal by the Escondido city planning commission, the American Civil Liberties Union responded with an appeal in the name of Southwest Key, the company that would administer the shelter, saying that the arguments put forward gainst the project were "unfounded."

"On the basis of the investigation we did, there's no reason to reject the establishment of a shelter," ACLU spokesperson in San Diego Anna Castro told Efe on Sunday.

The ACLU official called the commission's decision "irrational" and based on anti-immigrant attitudes, alluding as it did to security concerns and traffic congestion as key reasons to reject the project to transform an old health center into a shelter to house 96 unaccompanied immigrant minors.

Castro said that although other sites in San Diego County were evaluated, the Escondido health center is the one with the best facilities.

Neither the ACLU nor Southwest Key are ruling out legal action against the city if the council refuses to build the shelter in its Wednesday session.

The ACLU defended its position that immigrant children deserve to be treated with "compassion and dignity" by the local government and that they have the right to due process and legal protection after making asylum requests.

Olga Diaz, one of Escondido's five councilors and the city's first Latina in the post, refused to state her position on the matter to Efe but she did say that the testimony offered to the commission so far had consisted more of personal opinions on immigration and did not constitute an analysis regarding the viability of the project. EFE