Mayor Warren discusses proposal to house undocumented children at Blossom South Nursing Facility

Updated: 07/22/2014 6:09 PM
Created: 07/22/2014 10:28 AM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri

Will illegal immigrant children move into the Rochester community? Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren says she will consider it. This time, a former nursing home in Rochester is being considered to house the undocumented children.

Mayor Warren says this is just the beginning of a long conversation. She is just looking at all the options before making a decision. She said from what she can tell, this project would be backed by federal dollars, not city money.

Dr. John Ghertner, Greater Rochester Coalition for Immigrant Justice, said, “Rochester does have a history of being a sanctuary city, it has a history of supporting people.”

Dr. Ghertner works with the Greater Rochester Coalition for Immigrant Justice. He supports the idea of the city allowing 172 kids to stay at the old Blossom South Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Rochester’s mayor says right now, she is just looking at the options.

Mayor Lovely Warren said, “We are on a fact-finding mission to find out what will be required of the city, if anything. Do we have a location? How many children? Do we have the support network? Do we have the community organizations, legal organizations and spiritual organizations to help with that?”

While everyone News10NBC spoke to in the surrounding neighborhoods are in support of this idea, people are voicing their concerns online. Some say Rochester is not ready and some cite poor graduation rates and crime.

Dr. Ghertner says that would not be an issue. Most of the kids would only be here about 30 days while they await a Visa hearing.

Dr. Ghertner said, “These people are in detention, just like their parents. So they are not going to be walking on the streets, they are not going to be in the schools, they are not going to be supported by the local schools, they are not going to be supported by the local economy.”

Mayor Warren urges everyone to have compassion when considering this idea. There is no date set when the mayor would talk with members of the federal government about Blossom South.

An empty warehouse in Greece and a former Walmart in the Town of Sweden were also up for consideration but have since been taken off the table.

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