Maziarz, Collins oppose housing migrant children in former Walmart

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 June 2014 at 12:00 am

BROCKPORT – U.S. Rep. Chris Collins and State Sen. George Maziarz don’t want to see a former Walmart on Route 19 in Brockport used to house migrant children who entered the country illegally.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources is considering the former Walmart as temporary housing for the children. Collins said Health and Human Resources also is considering a former convent in Clifton Park for some of the children.

“It is unacceptable the federal government is trying to force the hardworking taxpayers of New York to foot the bill to house undocumented immigrants,” Collins said on his Facebook page. “The President’s actions have fueled the current crises along the southern border, and now New York residents are being directly impacted by his irresponsible actions.”

Collins said President Obama should enforce existing immigration laws to prevent the flood of illegal immigrants across the broder.

“Instead, the President has decided to pick and choose which laws he wants to enforce creating an environment where wrongdoing goes unpunished,” Collins said.

State Sen. George Maziarz says the vast majority of the children entering the country illegally are from Central America, more than 2,000 miles away from Brockport. The children should be housed, temporarily, much closer to the southern border, not in upstate New York, Maziarz said.

“We do need to find a place to house these illegal immigrant children where they can live temporarily before they are sent back to their home countries and their families,” Maziarz said. “They are in our custody now, but without housing and without supervision, they may very well be homeless and end up trying to stay in the United States permanently. That’s not acceptable – our goal should be to return them to their country of origin.”

The U.S. border has been overwhelmed with minors coming from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico, children fleeing gang violence and poverty.

“The federal government must do a better job of addressing this immigration crisis,” Maziarz said.