The Real Deal New York

Mark-Viverito calls on NYC to house undocumented children

Other cities have offered up shelter to children without relatives who can take them in

July 24, 2014 04:50PM

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Melissa Mark-Viverito

Melissa Mark-Viverito

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is calling on New York City to offer up shelter to some of the undocumented immigrant children coming into the country to flee violence in Central America.

Other cities such as Syracuse have offered up space to shelter children who cannot be placed in the care of relatives or sponsors in the U.S. as they await appearances in immigration court. Mark-Viverito said Thursday that she thinks New York City should follow suit. She added that she would be “more than open” to a discussion examining how New York City might be able to support the children with some type of temporary housing.

“These children are facing a horrific situation at home, which has led them and their families to make some really difficult decisions,” Mark-Viverito told the New York Observer. “It’s good to hear that mayors like the mayor of Syracuse have said that Syracuse would have an open door and be helpful in the name of housing some of these children, and I think that we should do the same thing.”

The statements follow questions put to Mayor Bill de Blasio as to whether the city would look to house children, to which he replied that many of the young undocumented immigrants are already here with family.

“What we know right now is so many of the children who are reaching New York are reaching family members,” de Blasio said.

New York City officials formed a task force to respond to the surging population of unaccompanied migrant children earlier this month, after federal officials asked the city if it could help find additional shelter to house children who are presently detained at the border. [NYO]Julie Strickland

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