One of Obama's closest allies promises help
July 28th, 2014
10:31 AM ET
4 months ago

One of Obama's closest allies promises help

Washington (CNN) – With some communities across the nation fighting attempts to house some of the unaccompanied Central American kids detained at the border, President Obama got a dose of welcome news from one of his closest political allies. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration says it is willing to house up to 1,000 children in city facilities.

“The influx of unaccompanied child migrants is a growing humanitarian crisis that we can no longer ignore,” Emanuel said Sunday in a statement. “While we have our own challenges at home, we cannot turn our backs on children that are fleeing dangerous conditions. We will do our part to ensure that these children are given access to services and treated fairly and humanely.”

More than 50,000 unaccompanied children have been detained so far as they’ve tried to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Federal authorities say the rate of apprehension has slowed in recent weeks.

City officials say earlier this month the federal government reached out to the mayor's office to talk about the possibility of housing some of the children in facilities there. The federal government would pick up the costs, and the Department of Health and Human Services would run everything from education to health care to food and security. Representatives from the Emanuel administration are working with local groups to find one or more facilities to house the migrants in the coming year.

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Illinois, a major proponent of immigration reform and someone who has strongly opposed calls for deporting the children after they are arrested, said he is proud to see Chicago "lead by example" in trying to find housing for some of them. “Sometimes the greatness of our nation and our city are tested and how we treat children in danger is one of those tests," Gutiérrez said in a statement.

Among the possible organizations that could help in housing and caring for the children are the Archdiocese of Chicago, Catholic Charities and other private groups long involved in the matter.

Earlier this month Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, another major Democratic supporter of the President, proposed two locations in the Bay State to temporarily house undocumented immigrant children, including a federal base on Cape Cod. That proposal has generated a controversy among some Massachusetts residents.

These offers follow a dust-up between another Democratic ally, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, and the White House over the issue. O'Malley, who had criticized plans to deport many of the undocumented children, clashed with a senior White House official in a phone call after he asked some of the kids not be sent to a site in his state.

"What I said was that would not be the most inviting site in Maryland,” O'Malley told CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta. “There are already hundreds of kids already located throughout Maryland." O'Malley was referring to his phone conversation with White House Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Muñoz.

O'Malley also told CNN he was open to housing them in other sites in the state.

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this story.


Filed under: President Obama • Rahm Emanuel
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Janet Nappylotto

    We don't need immigration reform. We are in dire need of deportation reform to properly and expeditiously return these illegal immigrants back to their home countries.
    What is going to happen after these 1,000 slots for housing run out?
    Who is going to pay for the housing, food, etc.?
    What happens after the skip out on their court dates?
    Who is going to pay for their on going care?

    Chicago... Please save this country and vote Emanuel out!!!

    July 28, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Way to step up to the plate Rahm.
    Admirable.

    July 28, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Janet Nappylotto

    We don't need immigration reform. We are in dire need of deportation reform to properly and expeditiously return these illegal immigrants back to their home countries.
    --------------------------
    Okay. So why doesn't the House pass a bill for additional funding to add more people to do that? Because they would rather whine about a crisis than to actually address it.

    July 28, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Among the possible organizations that could help in housing and caring for the children are the Archdiocese of Chicago, Catholic Charities and other private groups long involved in the matter."

    Yes, well ... I suspect this won't be enough comfort for those who insist these children be sent back into the poverty they were born in and tried to escape from.

    July 28, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Chris..E.al

    I think you need 2 worry about your own kids in your city and when and if you do fix the ones that want and need that help you can offer help to the other law breakers .

    July 28, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. sonny chapman

    God Bless Chicago, Massachusetts & Houston, TX(2005). "I was a stranger & you did/did not welcome me".-Matthew 25,35.

    July 28, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. Gurgyl

    This nation is hurting not only illegal immigration, it is hurting with even legal immigration too. At least for some time, USA better freeze immigration. This is for the good of USA.

    July 28, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. yolanda

    Hilarious....these kids are trying to escape violence and are being welcomed into Chicago, which is the most violent US city. This past weekend there were a mere 20 or so shootings in Chicago. Welcome to America.

    July 28, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Marty

    Would you send your child to Chicago?

    July 28, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    There you go Chicago...........Rahm wants to increase crime in your city, add more people who do not speak the language, and add more people on to the welfare rolls in your city.

    You chose poorly........and now you will be paying the price for your choice.

    July 28, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. with a grain of salt

    Don't care to much for this guy, kinda slimy I think, and come on rwnj, tell us about how bad Chicago is. I don't know what the gop will do, but I have an idea what they won't do, vote on a bill to solve this, they think this only hurts Obama. But the smart vote doesn't seem yo be what the GOP is looking for, that's good because they don't have it now, and can't possibly think their actions appeal to the mature person. Their voting base is obviously not the most mature, intelligent, or informed among us. Their deep south vote, you know the ones who's entire existence is dependent on their only source of income, a government check, the ones who ain't got no use for gubmint, yeah those ones.

    July 28, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. You Got It

    Great, place them in Chicago – now who's going to foot the bill for medical care, food, housing, schooling?

    Raise them in a place that cooks the books to mask the number of murders.

    Rahm needs to go – he's destroying that city piece by piece.

    July 28, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. vikingwoman

    It's amazing that the GOTP-family values, Christian values party, has such an aversion to helping these children! They are here now & we can't Do Nothing & blame Obama, the party's favorite way of dealing w/issues! Would it help if they were embryos??

    July 28, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. jonquil123

    I'm sure the gangs of Chicago will relish having fresh, young MS-13 members for target practice. This is gross negligence, on the part of Emmanuel, of the highest order.

    July 28, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. 2020

    Jonquil123, which tribe you came from? Cheerokee?

    At some point you were an immigrant, so don't play this ignorant game. you came from the same bath water.

    July 28, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    vikingwoman says:
    July 28, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am
    It’s amazing that the GOTP-family values, Christian values party, has such an aversion to helping these children! They are here now & we can’t Do Nothing & blame Obama, the party’s favorite way of dealing w/issues! Would it help if they were embryos??

    Thank you. I was thinking the very same thing.

    July 28, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Chris..E.al

    When you dems stop promoting and supporting the most wretched and vile sins in the Bible then try and pick the right verse to suit your needs and dont be a hypocrite ? There is better ways to help these kids than putting them in a strangers back yard all over the nation ?

    July 28, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. Tim

    This is so funny. Children trying to escape gangs and violence and we send them to Chicago. Poor Obama can't do anything right.

    July 28, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. smith

    This border issues just shows the corruption of both parties. Neither party wants to solve the issue they only care about the hispanic vote.

    July 28, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. with a grain of salt

    Oh come on rwnj, you can do much better, don't you think these young kids will form their own gangs, and be even more ruthless than ours. They bring their skills from home, and literally take over Chicago, one murder at a time.

    July 28, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Gunderson

    Gosh Rahm,
    Only a thousand? We need a place for 200,000 Rahm. Can't you take at least 200,000? Chicago has plenty of money, right? There are lots and lots more that want to come Rahm. 200,000 is only the Tip of the Iceberg. Just think, pretty soon people will look at you as Presidential Material. Good start Rahm.

    July 28, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yolanda
    Hilarious....these kids are trying to escape violence and are being welcomed into Chicago, which is the most violent US city
    -----------------------------------------------------
    No more "hilarious" than very few other Governors making room for them even though the Bush's law states that they need to have a hearing before being sent packing, which means they need somewhere to stay.
    And certainly no more "hilarious" than you suggesting/stating that the Michelle Obaama, a private citizen, should be encouraging Republicans to vote as well.
    You guys are the first one to say that she wasn't elected to office she is therefore entitled to encourage her fellow Democrats to go out and vote especially in light of the way her husband and the country has been treated by the Republicans.
    Perhaps you'd like for her to fundraise for Republicans in order to "prove" that she is (now conveniently) everybody's First Lady?
    smh.

    July 28, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. Ol' Yeller

    "gangs of Chicago will relish having fresh, young MS-13 members"

    Somebody has been watching too many faux news talking points.... MS-13 members.... gimme' a break! Let me guess, they are rampant with diseases and need to be quarantined, too? (How in the world did I guess!?!)

    July 28, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Silence DoGood

    The original conservative story was "not one, not one liberal politician is stepping up to house any of these kids, not ONE".
    Now of course since that myth too has been shown to be a lie, the conservative rant needs to morph.
    When is the last time you heard one of these ranters say "wow I was wrong about (fill in mth here)"

    July 28, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. yippeeskip

    Why not Detroit...they have PLENTY of room.

    July 28, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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