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St. Louis Applies to Shelter Migrant Children Overwhelming U.S. Border

Categories: Politics

migrantkidspreser.JPG
Lindsay Toler
Mayor Francis Slay announces St. Louis' plan to bring 60 children crossing the U.S. border here.
As the gang violence and drug wars ravaging Central American countries propel waves of homeless, needy children to the southern border of the United States, St. Louis city and county governments are applying for federal dollars to pay for 60 migrant children to find shelter in St. Louis.

Mayor Francis Slay, County Executive Charlie Dooley and an alliance of nonprofit organizations announced the plan to apply for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement program Friday. If St. Louis is approved, the federal government would relocate about 60 of the children waiting in border detention centers to residential facilities in the county for housing, health, food, counseling and educational services.

The move is a controversial one in a politically polarized America that is still stinging from the 2008 recession.

Anti-immigration activists are physically trying to stop buses of children from entering the U.S. -- to the point where one GOP candidate angrily chased down a bus full of YMCA campers -- to stop federal dollars from aiding non-American people. Republicans in Congress refused to give President Barack Obama the $3.7 billion he wanted to deal with the growing crisis.

"We will leave the Washington blame game to the Washington politicians," Slay said Friday. "They can debate the cause of the crisis, and hopefully one day agree on a solution. Until then, we are going to try to help these kids, because that is what they are -- children."

See also: Asylum Insanity: Welcome to the land of the free. While we decide whether we feel like deporting you, we've got a cold dank cell that'll suit you just fine.

Journalists were quick to ask Dooley, who is running his fourth re-election campaign in a district with a strong conservative base, why he's supporting a plan that's sure to anger voters.

"This country was founded on immigration, for God's sake," Dooley responded. "This is the right thing to do at the right time. We care about children, not the politics."

If St. Louis is approved to shelter migrant children waiting for immigration hearings or foster placement, the funds for the program will come from federal sources, not the local tax base. The Incarnate Word Foundation of St. Louis has also pledged $25,000 to cover expenses.

Children would be housed in one of three St. Louis County shelters for children that say they've got extra room: Marygrove in north St. Louis County, St. Vincent Home for Children in Normandy and Great Circle in Webster Groves. Children would stay for about a month, officials say, and when a child moved on, a new child would take his or her place.

The St. Louis alliance only decided to apply to take migrant children about two weeks before the August 5 deadline, and officials weren't sure how much money they would get if approved. Children will most likely arrive after September and stay for about a month at a time.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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87 comments
Brad Fitzgerald
Brad Fitzgerald

Crossing the boarder without permission, a visa, with a coyote that may also be carrying narcotics, etc. is absolutely illegal. I think it is admirable people would like to help them, but it will only compound the issue. We should take care of needy children who are in fact American citizens first and these children should be taken back to their families in their country of origin.

Bryan Jennings
Bryan Jennings

Such a narrow view of a large problem. Try putting some thought in your posts.

Aaron Darnell
Aaron Darnell

Why not? There are so many reasons....let's introduce all of these children to a US city that's easily top 10 in crime so that when they get older, they can be bangers too! Concentrate on the homefront Slay!

Jerry Ross
Jerry Ross

Err, autocorrect fail. Meant to say "we are complicit." We have contributed to the creation of conditions that cause children to run with coyotes and turn themselves into Border Patrol (a completely legal process, btw)

Jerry Ross
Jerry Ross

Didn't mean to step on your argument, Nanner. You have handled yourself admirably, making me proud. Just couldn't resist jumping in a bit. Because this matters. I hope Mr Collins and others will reconsider their position.

Jerry Ross
Jerry Ross

Why can't we? It's what we have done historically. It is our tradition, our ethos. We are big and strong and moral enough to help a few thousand kids. We could handle a few million if it got that bad. And our responsibility is greater than this is the moral, Christian thing to do. We helped create the situation these kids are fleeing, through the drug wars. Central America absorbed the vacuum created by the crackdowns in Mexico. We are compliment in creating these conditions. We are responsible.

Anna Felixidocious Ross
Anna Felixidocious Ross

I agree, why have arbritary divisions amongst people based on geography? It really doesn't make sense to me. (My opinion on Israel is irrelevant)

Robert F Kiel
Robert F Kiel

Just wonder if some illegal here in the USA can tell me how being here makes your home land better? Your not stopping the gangs, drug cartels, corruption or what ever other problems your home country has. Just think what would happen if the millions of able bodied Mexican s went back and stood up against the drug cartel s and gangs. oh wait it is easier to enter the USA illegally and break our laws than to stand up and fight for your own country

Dennis Collins
Dennis Collins

I believe in America Jerry, but we can not continue to take in every poor soul that walks across our borders. The flow has to stop. Why have a border??

Gavi Osorio
Gavi Osorio

Wow, your own race are the same ones complaining that they werent given enough. Have you ever even had one single civil conversation with someone who was a different ethnicity? Do you even know one? You all speak out against something you know absolutely nothing about!

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

you must have missed the "illegal" part. we have laws.

Frank Motlik
Frank Motlik

Libtard Politicians are drawn to Federal Grant Money like moths to a flame... Get rid of this MORON at the next election.

Mike Fawkes
Mike Fawkes

When does it all stop. Should we take every third world child into the country and raise them as if they were our own. Where are the parents of these children and why are they not responsible for caring for their children? Where are their families? Where is their government? Why is America always the one who has to pay the price for others actions. I didn't have sex with their mama. In addition, the days of immigrants all being grateful for being taken in and given the opportunity for a better life are long over with. In a few years these children will be grown and complaining that we didn't give them enough, and that their culture is being all butt hurt by being made to learn English in schools. I say that the people that are for this, should be the ones paying higher taxes to house, feed, and educate these children. Put your money where your mouth is. By the way, if you are not a legal citizen of the United States, you don't get a say. You should worry about problems and the human rights situation in your own country before spouting off about what Americans should or shouldn't do in their own country.

Jerry Ross
Jerry Ross

Stand tall, Mayor Slay. Help the kids. It's the right thing to do. Those who think helping children weakens America don't know how strong we really are. I question their patriotism. Helping the poor doesn't weaken us. That's hate and fear you're thinking of.

Jerry Ross
Jerry Ross

My wonderful and awesome-smart daughter may have made a slight misstatement re original colonists and illegal aliens. I've been researching our tree, and I'm pretty sure our branch of Rosses sided with the Jacobites against the crown, and then lost the battle, so the Brits loaded up a boatload and sent them to Virginia. Within a generation or two, the Rosses helped win our revolution. So not exactly illegal aliens (which only exist in those Sigourney Weaver films) but definitely illegal and illegitimate in the eyes of the crown. In the case of our family (which qualifies as daughters and sons of the revolution in about 9 different ways), we were rebellious criminals. We broke the ultimate law. We threw out the king. Re-the opposition to helping the poor, I'm amazed at how little so many of you think of America. You think we're so weak we can't help a few thousand kids? We're better than that. Or don't you believe in us any longer? Oh ye of little faith....

David Beebe
David Beebe

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Thaddeus J McLendon
Thaddeus J McLendon

What if the indians turned back all those Europeans. This wouldn't be a conversation.

Michael Marshall
Michael Marshall

Reading some of theses comments and the replies to these comments just baffles the f*** outta me.

Janeyre Bronte'
Janeyre Bronte'

We have Gang violence, Drug wars, etc... I am not sure I understand, the difference...

Gavi Osorio
Gavi Osorio

And as far as the licenses you are an idiot yourself if you think they are handing them over to illegals for FREE! Licenses are not free, what you pay for certain services is what they pay also you idiot. Why dont you do your research before you spew your ignorance and bigotry!!!

Gavi Osorio
Gavi Osorio

Well, lets see, i know a number of illegal immigrants who work very hard for very little and DON'T receive a cent from our government but i also know a lot of white and black people who abuse public aid by lying to receive more. Lets see, the illegals are the only bad ones making our economy worse, i think not.

Larry Hood
Larry Hood

the way he treat homeless and veteran and the shelters he a hypocrite

Gary Muich
Gary Muich

Sounds like Mayor Slay wont be getting back in office after this move! They are already giving driver licensees to these people! Everything free to them! Love your ignorant ass president now???

Kathy Rogers Weir
Kathy Rogers Weir

These kids are not here illegally, they turned themselves into border patrol to ask for refuge. They will get due process to determine whether they can stay. That is completely legal! It's 60 freaking kids, people should chill out. And thanks, Mayor Slay, for showing we have a heart.

Audi Allure
Audi Allure

We should help. Why not? Obviously they are coming here for a reason. Americans boast to be the land of the free and home of the brave...yeah right! How are we free when we want to turn our backs on children?! How are we brave when we talk down to anyone that doesn't fit into our "American Dream"?! We are all human. We all have a right to be here and have an opportunity to better ourselves. These children deserve a chance to grow up in a better world. Where is the love?

Aaron Gershman
Aaron Gershman

According to you all, it is LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE to try to support the domestic homeless and shelter foreign homeless children. It is not possible. We must support one or the other. So we will have the St. Louis homeless and foreign homeless children FIGHT TO THE DEATH in the THUNDERDOME. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmRAiUPdRjk

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

I think we should help THESE kids because they ARE kids....however....I am not happy about it. This unregulated illegal immigration has GOT TO STOP. We are not the strong financial country that we once were. It is time to put the brakes on some of this stuff. (Not to mention the security risks involved with wide open borders in this day and age of terrorists trying to kill us all.)

Dennis Collins
Dennis Collins

I'm not denying slavery didn't play a part in the creation of many things we enjoy today. Helping each other out and providing for an entire populace are two different things. You seem to be a very caring person, I wonder what your opinion of the nation of Israel at this moment. I think I can guess.

Jake McClain
Jake McClain

Man. . Winona is such an awesome person. We should just let her spend all of our (already over-inflated) tax dollars. .

Anna Felixidocious Ross
Anna Felixidocious Ross

I wasn't joking. To deny that this country was built on the back on slavery is naive and ignorant. Immigrants are a good thing - and honestly, with technological advances, we are turning into a world nation more than ever. We have to help each other out as humans, not just because we happen to live on the same continent.

Dennis Collins
Dennis Collins

That's not funny Anna. The only thing they should turn is..these children around and send them home. You mentioned third world country in an earlier statement. That's what this country will resemble in 30 years...over-polluted...over-diseased..and vastly over-populated.

Anna Felixidocious Ross
Anna Felixidocious Ross

Dennis, they used slaves & indentured servants to build. So we should probably just turn these kids into slaves, right? Good idea.

Anna Felixidocious Ross
Anna Felixidocious Ross

Also, it's pretty well documented that immigrants help the local economy by opening new businesses & buying property. I'm not talking about migrant workers - I'm talking about the families of the children who (hopefully) will find refuge here. The last time the city did this was for the Bosnians in the 90s and that helped the local economy a good bit.

Anna Felixidocious Ross
Anna Felixidocious Ross

St.Louis is much safer than any 3rd world country in the world. To say St. Louis isn't implies you have a small understanding of how good we have it. I never implied that Native peoples lived in a utopia peace and harmony - I was saying that many people seem to forget that we stole this land just as much as illegals are 'stealing' from us now. Not to mention the mass genocide. I'm not really interested in debating whether not helping children is a good/bad thing to do. If all your concerned about is how money is being spent vs children being harmed then that is a philosophical problem you need to figure out for yourself.

Dennis Collins
Dennis Collins

And to your argument that the first colonists were illegal aliens,those colonists are who laid the framework for what this country would become. They didn't go to the native Americans asking for everything to be given to them...free healthcare...free housing...free food....free education...etc..etc

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