Activists call for support of immigrant children if housed in Alabama
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Alabama lawmakers have drafted legislation to prevent immigrant children from being placed at military bases nationwide. It comes after Governor Bentley confirmed Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery was being considered as one such location.
In a statement to WHNT News 19, Representative Mo Brooks wrote:
“Military bases are for national security, not baby-sitting kids enticed to America by Barack Obama. I support Congressmen Roby and Rogers’ effort to block military bases being turned into baby-sitting camps. The best solution to the illegal alien children problem is simple and much cheaper: fly the run-a-way children to their home countries to be reunited with their families. Barack Obama’s plan to keep illegal alien children indefinitely in America only encourages another tsunami of illegal aliens while simultaneously breaking up families at extraordinary cost to hard-working American families.”
It is in the face of this opposition, the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice is asking Alabamians and the communities surrounding Maxwell Air Force Base to welcome immigrant children with open arms.
“Regardless of cost they are children and they have to be taken care of,” said activist Kyle Tharp, a spokesman for ACIJ. “We as Americans and Alabamians can’t sit by and watch children suffer.”
Between January and July of this year, 407 immigrant children were placed with sponsors in Alabama.
The Governor of Massachusetts has said the children housed on two of the state’s military bases would not be attending public schools. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has also said federal funding for health care, education, and social services would be provided if children were housed in Chicago.
Still Alabama lawmakers have raised concerns about funding if the immigrant children if brought to the state.
Tharp says he understand the concerns, but Americans can’t turn their back on the children now.
“We`re first and foremost calling that the kids who do have relatives in the US are immediately reunited with their us based relatives awaiting their court date to determine their asylum status. We do believe asylum should be granted to a majority of these children, because as we’ve seen Honduras is one of the most dangerous countries on earth,” Tharp explained.
Tharp has already heard from people eager to provide resources for the children if they are brought to Alabama.
It has not been determined if any children will be housed at Maxwell Air Force Base.