Madison pin-points two locations for immigrant children - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Madison pin-points two locations for immigrant children


Madison (WQOW) - Madison pin-points two locations as federal officials look for places to keep thousands of children who've crossed into the U.S. from the Mexican border.

The city sent a letter to FEMA today highlighting two possible options for up to 250 immigrant children.

One option is a former grocery store that the city already owns. The other option wouldn't be available until the end of August and is in the heart of a Madison shopping district. But some say they wouldn't mind if a Shopko store that is about to shut it’s doors became a temporary shelter.

"No, I can't imagine it would be any change whatsoever. I mean its a pretty isolated area off the street and, as far as the course goes, I don't understand why it would be any issue at all," Michael Hanson of Madison says.

While FEMA would operate the temporary shelters, U.S. Health and Human Services would have to move the children into alternative housing after 30 days, which raises other issues. They would either have to stay with an adult willing to sponsor them or be placed in a child welfare program, like long-term foster care.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press is reporting 50 refugee children have already been brought to Wisconsin but it's not clear where.

The White House says President Obama is working aggressively to solve the border crisis. But, even as thousands of these children remain in limbo, the White House and Congress seem no where near agreeing on an immigration deal. House Speaker John Boehner said democrats won't get nearly $4 billion in emergency funding unless republicans can block a loophole in the law that offers minors special legal status if they make it across the border. In Texas, where the crisis hits close to home, the governor is calling for the National Guard to line the border.

"I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor. We're too good a country for that to occur," Texas Governor Rick Perry says.

The White House first dubbed Governor Perry's request "symbolic" but now, as it turns out, the Obama administration has its own team on the ground, on the border, assessing whether a National Guard deployment might be a good idea after all.

On Friday, President Obama will meet with the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The president wants the leaders to send a stronger message to their citizens to stop coming to the U.S. illegally. In return, those leaders want financial assistance but without that border bill they may not get it.

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