DENVER — Denver Human Services has raised alarm by seeking a federal grant in order to house children crossing the southern border illegally by the thousands.
The grant would be used to refurbish its Family Crisis Center, a residential treatment facility with 54 beds, classrooms and a dining hall, to accommodate border children, according to a Thursday report by KUSA-TV in Denver.
“It would be perfect,” Denver Department of Human Services spokeswoman Ana Mostaccero told the station.
He said housing the illegal immigrant children has become “big business nationwide,” thanks to the federal grant program. The Denver agency has applied for a $350,000 grant.
“I think it’s time that we as a community told not only our governor but also the Family Crisis Center, [facility director] Steve Bates and the Denver Department of Human Services that we will not accept the settlement of illegal minors in our community,” Mr. Clark said. “I don’t care how big the business may become.”
Reaction on the KUSA website was weighted against the application, with several commenters saying the facility should be used to care for homeless veterans or local homeless children.
“I said it once and I will say it again, it took me 5 years to get my wife and daughter here in the states LEGALLY,” Ryan Kauffman of Aurora said in a post. “This is just a slap in the face.”
Ricky Theil of Denver responded, “I have to laugh at the people who clearly don’t understand the plight of these children.”
The Department of Homeland Security’s plan to relocate the border children from Border Patrol facilities in Arizona and Texas to communities nationwide has triggered a heated backlash in some areas.
State officials in Arizona, Nebraska and elsewhere have complained that the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t notified them before relocating the children within their states.
In Maryland and Virginia, officials have rejected outright DHS proposals to house the border crossers within their states. The program has also prompted protests in towns such as Murrieta, Calif., where locals say the approach will only encourage more illegal immigration.
“It is becoming quite clear that the federal government not only knew that this was coming, but had already set up a process for states to get grant dollars to house these illegals in our communities,” Mr. Clark said. “This flies directly in the face of the idea and the propaganda coming from the administration that they had no idea this crisis existed and it caught them by surprise. This is a lie.”
Ms. Mostaccero told KUSA-TV that the agency has not heard of opposition from the community.
“We have not,” she said. “Because it’s not something that’s happened yet, it’s just an application.”