Dayton offers immigrant kids shelter
By DAN SEWELL, Associated Press
July 30, 2014 (AP): Dayton will offer up two sites where
immigrant children from Central America could be sheltered, the
mayor and city manager told federal authorities.
The city officials were responding to a U.S. government request
to identify potential housing in various cities. Their statement
Tuesday night came two days after a Dayton-area congressman and
other officials sent a letter to President Barack Obama
rejecting Mayor Nan Whaley's offer to house children of the
border influx, saying she doesn't speak for the region.
``If the federal government asks for our assistance with this
matter, we have an obligation to consider that request,'' Whaley
She has also said the city has an obligation to help ensure that
the children ``receive basic humanitarian services'' while their
status is determined.
U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, and six other Dayton-area
leaders sent a letter Sunday to Obama saying the community
doesn't have the resources and Whaley doesn't have the authority
to offer shelter for the children. Several local religious
leaders responded that Dayton, which in 2011 officially adopted
an ``immigrant-friendly'' policy, should be willing to help out.
There's similar disagreement around the country about dealing
with what Obama has called a humanitarian crisis. The Border
Patrol has detained more than 57,000 unaccompanied children
since October, the vast majority from Guatemala, Honduras and El
In Cincinnati, Mayor John Cranley has voiced support for a
faith-based effort to house some of the children. He also
recently launched an effort to make the city more
One Dayton spot offered is a former Navy Reserve facility, and
the other is a vacant former distribution warehouse property.
City Manager Tim Riordan said that federal authorities had asked
for lists of properties of some 90,000 square feet and that
proposed sites would be inspected by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency to determine feasibility. If selected, the
federal government will pay for preparing, operating and
staffing the facilities, he said.