Pressured by pro-amnesty groups in his state, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-WFP) said he is exploring the former campus of a New Haven community college as a possible place to house the young illegal immigrants coming across the U.S. border from Central America.
Malloy, who is seeking a second term as governor this year, had reportedly rejected a request from federal officials last week to temporarily house up to 2,000 young illegal immigrants at a residence in his state for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
According to the New Haven Register, however, on Tuesday dozens of protesters holding signs with messages such as, ‘Not one more deportation,’ gathered at the former Gateway Community College site and called for Malloy to provide help for the illegal young people.
Kica Matos of New Haven, director of the Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice Center for Community Change, said the illegal young immigrants are fleeing violence and sex trafficking in their countries and trying to be connected with their family members in the United States.
“We want to demand that our governor do the right thing,” Matos said at the rally.
The Hartford Courant reported that, in a statement released Tuesday, Malloy said 320 illegal immigrant children had already been placed with family members in Connecticut.
In addition, the governor said he had participated in a conference call with the White House, the secretary of Homeland Security, and the secretary of Health and Human Services, during which “substantial progress” had been made to minimize the federal government’s residential property needs.
Malloy said he has instructed state agencies to work along with federal officials should any future needs arise, in which case they could explore the Gateway Community College property in Connecticut.
“However, I do not believe that the long-term detention of minors is the appropriate policy,” Malloy said.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch (D), nevertheless, said he would continue to explore ways his city could assist the illegal young immigrants. Brett Broesder, Finch’s spokesman, said the mayor “believes that sheltering kids who are in need has the potential to strengthen Bridgeport’s already strong immigrant community.”
Broesder added, however, that Finch “knows it would be unfair to Bridgeport residents to even consider an effort that would take away city services or resources…he’s only willing to consider this if federal funds pay for all transportation, legal representation and shelter costs – or any other costs associated with taking action.”