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]
Trump attacks 2 GOP governors on flight to Georgia rally: ‘Republicans will NEVER forget this’
Republicans have been "working frantically behind the scenes" to keep President Donald Trump on message during his Saturday campaign rally in Georgia, but the efforts do not seem to be working.
GOP strategists hoped Trump would make the case for the two GOP senators in the January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate, but Trump has continued to fixate on his delusions that he won the presidential election.
Aboard Air Force One on the flight to the rally, Trump attacked two GOP governors: Brian Kemp of Georgia and Doug Ducey of Arizona -- and seemed to threaten political retribution for the pair not going along with the president's debunked conspiracy theories about the election.
Trump holds large rally in Georgia — one day after the Peach State set a new coronavirus record
President Donald Trump departed the White House on Saturday for an evening campaign rally in Georgia -- despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump is ostensively making the trip to support Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and interim Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) in the January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate. However, Republicans fear Trump will use his speech to continue bashing GOP Gov. Brian Kemp.
Trump's visit also comes against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.
Panicked Republicans ‘working frantically behind the scenes’ — but Trump just keeps attacking GOP Gov Brian Kemp
Republicans are worried that President Donald Trump will pour gasoline on the intraparty inferno burning in Georgia.
Trump is officially traveling to the Peach State for a rally in support of the two Republican senators in January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate.
Republicans worry Trump will continue to attack Republican Gov. Brian Kemp as he has on Twitter.
"Trump is to headline a campaign rally for Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the state Saturday night — his first major political event since before the Nov. 3 election. GOP officials are working frantically behind the scenes to try to keep the president on script at the rally, worried that he will use the forum to attack Kemp and other state GOP officials who have resisted his pressure, according to a person familiar with the discussions," The Washington Post reported Saturday.