Scrambling to secure accommodations for the overwhelming surge of Central American minors crossing into the U.S. illegally, the federal government is looking at several sites in New York as potential shelters, including a rundown former Walmart building.
Though the location has been vacant for about seven years, and is in many respects what some might term a “fixer-upper,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and General Services Administration are looking at an old Walmart store in Sweden, New York, “to determine whether it may be used as a facility for temporarily housing children who have come into the United States from other countries without an adult guardian.”
The proposal is not without opposition, however. The town’s supervisor, a New York congressman and residents all say it’s a terrible idea.
“It’s an old retail store that’s been empty for seven years and has had quite a few roof leaks,” says Sweden Supervisor Robert A. Carges. “I just couldn’t get behind it, no way. … It’s just a warehouse.”
Congressman Chris Collins, in whose district the potential shelter lies, says New York taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to cover the costs of another Obama administration policy failure.
“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 in a statement.
“I don’t believe New York should be on the list,” Collins elaborated. “..[B]ecause ultimately, if not immediately, I’m convinced there will be a cost that will be passed on to the New York taxpayers.”
While the community is told the shelter wouldn’t lead to any immediate expenses, NBC affiliate WHEC correctly notes “the costs will be covered by the federal government, but those costs will be covered by your federal tax dollars.”
Collins says feds should try to keep immigrants close to the border they illegally penetrated.
“I would just suggest not here. My comment is, they’re crossing the border in Texas and Arizona, that’s where they should be,” Collins told WHEC.
Residents are also worried housing the immigrant influx could raise the town’s taxes and could bring a criminal element.
“I mean if they could get over into the United States without any help, they could be out on the streets and getting into trouble. It’s hard to tell,” one worried resident said.
Two of the five sites considered in New York, Byblos Niagara Resort in Grand Island and the Lexington Commerce Center in Greece, have already failed the sniff test.
In more government bumbling, the feds erroneously believed the fully-occupied Byblos resort to be a vacant structure.
HHS says only three military bases, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Naval Base Ventura County-Port Hueneme in Oxnard, California and Fort Sill in Oklahoma, have been converted to temporary shelters, however, earlier this month Judicial Watch.org revealed from a high-level inside source that a hanger on the Biggs Army Airfield, in El Paso, Texas, was also being used as an immigrant processing facility. Unsurprisingly, the Pentagon refuted the report.