DAYTON (AP) — A congressman and other southwest Ohio officials are countering the welcome Dayton’s mayor offered for immigrant children.
U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, and six other Dayton area leaders sent a letter late Sunday to President Barack Obama saying Mayor Nan Whaley doesn’t speak for the region in offering to shelter some of the children of the border influx from Central America.
“In addition, Mayor Whaley does not have the authority to make such an offer for the city of Dayton,” the letter stated.
The Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/1kiIDYK) reported that their letter tells Obama the community doesn’t support the mayor’s proposal and that the region doesn’t have the resources for it. The Montgomery County sheriff, three Greene County commissioners and the mayors of the Dayton suburbs of Beavercreek and Centerville also signed. Turner is a former Dayton mayor.
Sheriff Phil Plummer expressed concern about the impact on the community’s social services and resources.
“We can’t even meet the needs of our community,” Plummer said. “We got the red carpet rolled out with no guarantee of funding.”
Whaley, a Democrat, said federal officials asked for help, and that there is a humanitarian obligation to help the children. She and Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley are among several mayors across the country supportive of helping with the influx.
Obama has asked for congressional action in dealing with more than 57,000 unaccompanied children and other migrants who have arrived since October, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
“The federal government reached out to the city of Dayton,” Whaley said. “As long as these children are here, we have an obligation to ensure that they receive basic humanitarian services as they go through the federal process to determine their status in this country. As Americans, we provide due process rights to all people, regardless of how they arrive here. It is what makes us great as a nation.”