HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration has denied a federal request to temporarily house immigrant children from Central America at a mostly vacant facility for developmentally disabled adults in Southbury.
The New England office of the U.S. General Services Administration inquired earlier this month about leasing space at the Southbury Training School for between six months and a year.
The training school is the only large residential facility of its kind in Connecticut. But the Malloy administration has said no to the presidential request after concerns were raised about the impact on the developmentally disabled children and young adults already living on the grounds, WCBS 880’s Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported.
Despite the concerns, child advocate Megan Fountain of New Haven is urging the governor to reconsider his decision.
“It’s our responsibility as a community, as a nation to provide for these young people until they can go before an immigration judge,” Fountain told Schneidau.
Fountain says since the feds are picking up the tab, including building maintenance, it would cost Connecticut next to nothing to provide this temporary housing to approximately 2,000 migrants.
“It wouldn’t cost anything to Connecticut and I think that the people of Connecticut would overwhelmingly support this,” Fountain said.
Malloy’s office declined to say Wednesday whether the state would try to find other facilities that could meet the federal government’s needs. The federal government planned to cover all expenses, including building maintenance.
The federal government is looking for housing following a recent surge in unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally.
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