As the federal government scrambles to respond to a surge of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the U.S. Border, local governments are stepping in with offers of help.
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito recently urged the city to house some of the minors who were caught fleeing from violence in Central America and detained at the U.S.-Mexican border. This proposal follows in the wake of a similar offer made by the mayor of Syracuse, who personally penned a letter to President Obama offering to help house some of the children.
Mark-Viverito thinks that New York City should follow in those footsteps.
“It’s good to hear that mayors like the mayor of Syracuse have said that Syracuse would open the door and be helpful in the name of housing some of these children, and I think we should do the same thing, and I think we should be humane about the way we deal with situations like this,” she told the New York Observer.
Reportedly, 3,200 children have already come to New York to live with relatives. Officials estimate that as many as 7,000 will arrive in the next few months — many of them will be in New York City.
According to the Washington Times, some 1,500 unaccompanied minors have been placed with sponsors in New Jersey this year.
New Jersey governor, Chris Christie has taken issue with the fact that the federal government does not restrict sponsors based on immigration status. In other words, undocumented children may be housed with undocumented relatives.
“It is completely illogical, and it’s why folks get so frustrated with the government,” Christie stated.
He did say that New Jersey would consider housing children on a case-by-case basis, but held that he did not want to do anything that encouraged more “law breaking.”
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