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Hawley says using former Walmart for undocumented children deeply troubling

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 June 2014 at 12:00 am

BROCKPORT – State Assemblyman Steve Hawley calls it “deeply troubling” that a former Walmart in Brockport may be used to house undocumented children who entered the country illegally.

Media outlets reported on Wednesday the former store on Route 19 could be used to house children. The U.S. border has been overwhelmed with minors coming from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico, children fleeing gang violence and poverty. (Click here for more information.)

The Health and Human Services Department is considering the former Walmart store for housing. The Health and Human Services Department operates hundreds of these housing facilities throughout the country. The children stay until picked up by a sponsor or family member.

“The recent news that the federal government is looking at the old Walmart building in Brockport to house illegal immigrants is deeply concerning to me,” Hawley said in a statement. “Our community is ill-equipped to handle such an undertaking and the undue stress it would place upon our local economy cannot be understated. It is imperative that we help these undocumented immigrant children temporarily, but upstate New York taxpayers can’t afford to be paying for their housing, healthcare and education long term.”

Hawley’s 139th Assembly District includes Brockport.

“Placing this facility in Brockport would inherently change the landscape of our town and I hope the federal government recognizes that when weighing their options,” he said.