Syracuse Mayor: Send Us the Minor Illegals

ALBANY (AP) -

The mayor of Syracuse asked President Barack Obama on Thursday to speed along the approval process to provide a local shelter for minor Central American illegals surging across the border by sending them to her city.

Mayor Stephanie Miner wrote a letter to the president saying the city and its leaders welcome the chance to provide shelter to the children. She requested a partnership between the federal government and Syracuse to expedite the administration’s review of a potential shelter at a former convent that could house between 100 and 200 children.

She noted that the central New York city of 144,000 has a rich immigrant tradition and has welcomed people from South Sudan and elsewhere.

“It’s something that we have done in the past and we’re very proud of and we want to continue to do,” Miner said. “But also, these are children, and it’s hard to watch this and think that saying anything other than, ‘Let’s give them shelter in this humanitarian storm,’ it seems to us to be the appropriate way to respond to it.”

Her offer comes amid hostility or doubts about shelters in some communities across the country, including confrontations between anti-immigration activists and federal authorities. The Border Patrol says 57,525 unaccompanied children had been apprehended through the end of June.