By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Tuesday he is working with local charities to find temporary refuge for some of the Central American children caught illegally entering the United States even as politicians elsewhere publicly declare them unwelcome.
Garcetti said the U.S. Health and Human Services Department recently contacted him seeking assistance in its efforts to place such undocumented minors in temporary shelters while they await further immigration or deportation proceedings.
Youngsters from El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua have been fleeing their home countries by the thousands, some alone and some with parents or other adults, and streaming through Mexico by way of human smuggling networks into the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
Immigration officials say the influx is being driven by a mix of extreme poverty, gangs and drug violence in Central America, as well as rumors perpetrated by smugglers that children who reach the U.S. border will be permitted to stay.
The surge has inundated authorities in Texas, and created a backlash in places like Murrieta, California, north of San Diego, and Oracle, Arizona, near Tucson, where some migrants were to be sent for processing at overflow centers.
Opponents have said the flood of immigrants poses public safety and health concerns in their communities, as many of the young detainees and family units were likely to be released under limited supervision after initial intake and screening.
The subject arose at a forum hosted by Politico Magazine, where Garcetti was asked whether Los Angeles, the nation’s second-most populous city, would be willing to accept any of the youngsters on a temporary basis.
“We are going to. We’ve already talked to HHS,” he said, adding, “These are children.”
“As a father, who are we as Americans if we don’t step forward first and say, ‘these kids who are isolated, alone … let’s get them someplace safe and secure,'” he said.
Mayoral spokeswoman Vicki Curry said Garcetti, acting at the request of HHS, had convened a meeting last Friday with a number of local charities and public agencies “to discuss the means of taking in and taking care of some these children.”
Garcetti said 62 percent of Los Angeles residents are immigrants or children of immigrants, a demographic he cited as a “competitive strength” for the city.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Eric Walsh)
[Image: Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at the 2014 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California April 28, 2014. By Lucy Nicholson for Reuters]
NYT columnist says one of Trump’s friends begged him to talk him out of launching war with Iran
On Monday, Thomas Friedman of The New York Times spoke to CNN's Anderson Cooper, following President Donald Trump's attacks on him for calling his behavior racist in a recent article. The president accused him of "kissing [his] a**" in an Oval Office phone call.
Speaking to Cooper, Friedman denied Trump's characterization of their discussion.
"The president tweeted about a private conversation we had and lobbed in a few insults," said Friedman. "Basically, my response, which I put out on Twitter is that I was encouraged by a friend of his to speak to him after the downing of the American drone, because I thought it was wise that we not retaliate, and I thought he was wise not to retaliate, and this friend of his wanted me to encourage him in that, because he was evidently agonizing a little over that not retaliating. And I did that. I began the conversation by saying that 'I disagree with you, Mr. President on many things, but I think you did the right thing on this.' We talked for about four minutes. We also talked about China and we left it at that."
Trump is a ‘human opioid’ who feeds racism to his ‘white identity cult’: author
Democrats will lose the 2020 campaign if they treat it like a typical election and instead need to make a moral issue against President Donald Trump, author Tim Wise explained on MSNBC on Monday.
Wise is the author of the 2004 book White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son.
"As Democrats work on their strategy to counter President Trump ahead of the 2020 election. Anti-racism activist Tim Wise -- who helped to defeat David Duke in two campaigns in the 1990s -- provided this advice for Democrats," anchor Chris Matthews said.
He read excerpts of tweets from Wise.
Trump asked right-wing conspiracy theorist congressman to help him pick his next Director of National Intelligence
On Monday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump is consulting with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) about who he should consider to replace Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
Nunes has led the Republican side of the House Intelligence Committee since 2015 and chaired the committee for four years, despite having no professional qualifications of any kind for that role. Since 2017, he has been known for his stunts and conspiracy theories intended to discredit the Russia investigation and throw suspicion on anyone who looks into Trump's conduct.