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Government and Politics

Southwest Ohio divides over its role in the flood of immigrant children
Dayton mayor wants to temporarily house the children; GOP congressman and suburban mayor says 'No.'

Southwest Ohioans are divided over the region's role in helping with the flood of immigrant children.
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In The Region:

A feud is unfolding over whether Dayton should take in immigrant children from Central America who have been crossing the border by the tens of thousands in recent months. For Ohio Public Radio, WYSO’s Lewis Wallace reports that Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is facing off against Congressman Mike Turner and other local politicians.

LISTEN: Dayton's role in the immigrant debate

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Dayton’s Democratic mayor says the numbers of young children coming into the U.S. alone from Central America constitute a humanitarian crisis. So when the federal government contacted her in early July about potentially housing some of them temporarily, she agreed. 

“These are children, and they need to be treated humanely while they’re on American soil and while we go through the due process with them.” 

But a group of Republicans including U.S. Rep. Mike Turner has penned a letter to President Barack Obama. It says Mayor Whaley doesn’t represent the region. 

Beavercreek Mayor Brian Jarvis signed on. "We’re a nation of immigrants, however this has now jumped that line clearly into illegal immigrants.”

Jarvis and others say the region can’t afford to provide for the kids, even temporarily.

Turner, who represents Dayton and Wright-Patterson Air Force base put out a release saying, “Mayor Whaley does not have the authority, the resources or the support to speak on behalf of Dayton and the surrounding communities.” 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says its shelters are overcrowded, and it’s offering funds for organizations who open up space. Catholic Charities in Cincinnati has applied for a grant.


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