Mayor Gluba Wants Davenport To Welcome Immigrant Children
The fight over what to do with thousands of kids flooding the U.S. border could be coming to the Quad Cities. Today, President Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion to deal with this issue. He wants to build facilities for the illegal immigrants, strengthen border patrol and hire more judges and lawyers to speed up the deportation process.
Right now, the government is using three military bases for the kids. There's a dispute about just how long the facilities will be obligated to care for and house the children.
Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba is saying the Quad Cities shouldn't turn its back on these children. Tuesday night he called a special meeting with local organizations that might be willing to help find a local solution. They're calling it the "Caring Cities Campaign." Representatives from various human services and faith-based organizations put their heads together. They were brought together in hopes of reaching out to children thousands of miles away.
"You can't turn your back on kids, little children and tell them they must go back to Honduras and in many cases be killed. That's wrong," said Mayor Gluba.
He says people have called offering up their homes and that he's been in contact with the White House and Department of Health and Human Services about what the community can do.
Nora Dvorak has helped run a refugee program for the Davenport Diocese in the past. She again hopes to have a plan to put into action before the week's over.
"I prefer to call them unaccompanied children and not some of the hate words used by various people these are children first of all," said Dvorak.
Where they hope to start is potentially finding a place that could be an alternative processing center here for paperwork and care. Group members say something the government could fund and operate. They also want to contact local immigration attorneys and see about possibilities for housing, food and education.
"It could be temporary until they iron out issues with immigration laws," said Mayor Gluba. He hopes that cities across the country start exploring the same thing.
It is a controversial issue that many in the public are weighing in on. Some are on board with it, but many say there are too many other priorities to take care of and wonder if it's something the community can afford.
Mayor Gluba says the next step is to put the plan of action in place and find out how others in the community might be willing to help.