On Friday, Gov. Dannel Malloy responded to repeated requests for the state to house children pouring into the United States illegally. His administration said the state simply doesn’t have the appropriate facilities.
The explanation comes after state Rep. Juan Candelaria pressed Malloy to take a closer look at a situation he said involves “scared” and “vulnerable” children. Malloy denied state housing for immigrant children earlier this week.
Meanwhile, neighbors to the north gave them the heads-up on Friday. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said he’ll consider two locations, one in Bourne, the other in Chicopee, to temporarily house hundreds of migrant kids.
Candelaria, chairman of Connecticut’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, applauded Patrick’s decision.
“We need to lend a hand and help out in this current situation. These kids are just looking for asylum,” he said, adding that the letter he received from Malloy’s administration in response to his request does clarify why Malloy made the decision he did.
The letter, written by Mark Ojakian, Malloy’s chief of staff said, “All vacant properties owned by the state were found to be either far too small … and/or they contained mold, asbestos, lead or other serious problems.”
Said Candelaria: “Understanding that there was an effort made to locate and look at other facilities and nothing was available. Now we’re at the point where we want to look at what is available throughout the state of Connecticut — probably our cities may have adequate space.”
While the state representative plans to work that angle, Connecticut residents against illegal immigration are making noise.
“First of all, I don’t want my child exposed to the diseases, and I’m a teacher, too. So, I could be exposed as well. Also, our poor school districts are overwhelmed. They’re bankrupt,” said Judith Randall, a protester from Trumbull.
More than 300 demonstrations are planned across the U.S. this weekend — five of them are in Connecticut – which, as James McGovern points out, is ramping up for a governor’s race.
“I think Dan Malloy did the right thing, for the very wrong reason. He is only doing this because he is trying to protect his election,” said McGovern, who is from Bloomfield.