How many, how much and for how long? That's the short version of the questions swirling as state and lawmakers discuss the possibility of more immigrant children coming to Connecticut.
According to Gov. Dannel Malloy, 325 undocumented immigrant children are already here staying with relatives.
“We want to be supportive of the national efforts and we are. We don’t believe in warehousing children and we don’t,” said Malloy.
Before more children can come, State Sen. Robert Kane says we need more answers, which is why he sent a letter to the governor.
“I want to know, and our constituents want to know the conversation his administration is having with federal officials and state agencies and how they are reacting to this issue,” said Kane.
One of Kane’s pressing questions is cost. The governor says these placements have “all been federal,” but that they will need to “watch and see if there are costs to the state so we can recover those costs.”
Kane is also calling on Connecticut’s federal delegation, the president and Congress to devise a national policy.
“This administration is saying we haven’t come up with an answer so here Connecticut you can help us,” Kane said.
Malloy says conversations are taking place with the federal government regarding the obligations here at home.
He's also talking with the mayors of Norwalk and Stamford, which hold the highest concentration of the state’s Central American population.
On Friday, the mayors of Norwalk and Stamford will take part in a phone call with the mayors of the state’s other major cities and towns. Reports indicate that the mayors of Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford will also be on the line.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra released the following statement today:
“The city of Hartford is currently assessing its resources similar to the other big cities in the state. If results show we have the capacity, I have let the governor know we stand ready to assist.”