Greece Supervisor: Illegal immigrant children will not be sheltered here

Updated: 06/23/2014 5:40 PM
Created: 06/23/2014 4:55 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean

Federal officials toured part of an empty warehouse in Greece as a place to house illegal immigrant children stranded in the United States. Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich says it is not going to happen. 

Reilich says he didn’t know anything about the plan until News10NBC started calling him Sunday night. He says he contacted the owner of the warehouse and said the town does not want the illegal immigrant children to be housed here.

Bill Reilich, Greece Town Supervisor, said, “I made it clear to the developer that the town does not support this and he assured me that it would not be pursued any further.”

Reilich says federal officials got a tour through the warehouse on Lexington Avenue on Friday. The massive warehouse is in old Kodak Park, just east of 390. It is about 90,000 square feet, the size of a Wegmans. Reilich says it is not fit for living. 

Reilich said, “Having someone set up a sleeping environment on a cement floor or on a cot, in a big open room with not adequate ventilation, not adequate fire safety, not adequate restroom facilities, not adequate kitchen facilities, I would say that's inhumane.”

The children we’re talking about were born in a different country and are not American citizens. Someone snuck them into the U.S. without their parents. The federal government is looking for places to house them until they can re-unite them with their family in their home country. 

Senator Chuck Schumer was not told about the specific plan to bring children to Greece.

Sen. Charles Schumer, (D) NY, said, “If the Homeland Security Department were picking Rochester or even close to it, I think they would have contacted me and I haven't heard from them.”

The town of Greece says the open space in the warehouse has one bathroom for men and one for women. There is no kitchen and it does not meet any of the codes for a living space.

Mike Huntress, of Acquest Development, was the warehouse owner that gave the tour to federal officials. News10NBC tried to reach out to him Monday. So far, he hasn’t returned our calls. 

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