Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Friday reiterated his position that Connecticut does not have any facilities that could be used to provide temporary housing for unaccompanied immigrant children crossing the border from Central America, but said his administration would help find homes for those who have relatives in this state.
Local refugee agencies and the mayor of New Haven, meanwhile, have started exploring ways they could help the federal government reduce the burden on existing shelters being used to house children on a short-term basis while their immigration cases are being processed. A sharp increase this year in children illegally crossing the border led the federal government to conduct a property search for additional facilities.
Malloy earlier this month rejected a request from federal officials to house immigrant children atSouthbury Training School, a large residential facility for developmentally disabled individuals, and said that no other facility in the state was available. His administration's response drew criticism from immigration rights activists, including the legislature's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus. The caucus wrote to him Thursday asking him to reconsider. In a response letter Friday, Malloy's office wrote that "the governor's heart goes out to all of the children affected by this situation" but Connecticut "simply does not own appropriate facilities."
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