DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio city has told federal authorities it has two places that could be used to shelter children from Central America.
Dayton officials say they responded to a U.S. government request in identifying potential housing. Their statement Tuesday evening came two days after a Dayton-area congressman and other southwest Ohio officials sent a letter to President Barack Obama saying Mayor Nan Whaley doesn't speak for the region in offering to house children of the border influx.
Whaley says that if the federal government asks for help, the city has an obligation to consider it. One spot offered is a former Navy Reserve facility and the other a vacant former business property.
There's disagreement across the country about dealing with what Obama has called a humanitarian crisis.
Read More: 10TV
Columbus Mayor: City Prepared To Discuss Immigration Crisis
July 28, 2014
Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said he is willing to work with other cities to assist with the immigration crisis at the U.S. southern border.
His spokesman Dan Williamson warns, though, the city’s social service agencies do not have the capacity to take in large numbers of immigrant children.
“If our social services agencies were to take in these children coming over from the southern border, they would need the support to have the capacity to do that,” Williamson said.
“If there is a comprehensive, collaborative solution being discussed among cities throughout the country, Mayor Coleman would want the city of Columbus to be part of that conversation and ultimately part of that solution,” he added.
An estimated 57,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America have crossed the border illegally since last fall.
Read More: wosu
"I sent him a bill for the prisoners that are in my jail. They came here illegally. I've not gotten any money from them, but I billed them so much. And, I'll tell you what I got in return, my life was threatened."
By Dayton Daily News (OH) July 21, 2014 6:48 am
Dayton would likely be a destination for a portion of the thousands of undocumented children showing up at the nation's southern border if Congress approves funding to provide humanitarian aid, Mayor Nan Whaley said.
Officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have talked with city leaders across the country, including Dayton, to identify places that have the space and facilities to accommodate children fleeing Central America.
The city is willing to do its part to provide a safe landing spot for needy refugees, Whaley said, but there are no current plans for that to happen. Officials with cities and states across the nation, including New Jersey and Los Angeles, have said they would consider requests to help the immigrant children.
"Of course we would consider being helpful to the country, because we're an immigrant-friendly community," Whaley said.
Whaley's comments sparked outrage among some anti-immigration groups, and some politicians criticized her position.
Read More: GOPUSA