Mayor Toni Harp spoke by phone Friday with nine of her counterparts, who agreed to prepare a joint plan to present the governor with possible small sites to house some of the children crossing the U.S. border.
The ten mayors have formed a task force to put together the list of sites to present to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Harp said after the conference call.
“We’re interested in participating” in helping to solve “a humanitarian crisis,” Harp told the Independent. “Ultimately cities are going to be places where these children live.”
Malloy came under pressure after turning down a request by the federal government to help house some 2,000 of the estimated 57,000 children who have crossed the southwestern U.S. border since October, many of them fleeing deadly gangs or traffickers in their Latin American homelands. The feds wanted to use the old Southbury training school. Since then Harp has sought to work, along with fellow mayors, to present an alternative to warehousing the students in a big facility; they’re looking at private homes and other facilities.
Besides New Haven, the communities participating include Bridgeport, Hartford, East Hartford, Stamford, Norwalk, Meriden, Waterbury, South Windsor, and Woodbridge.
Harp said Friday the mayors will also work with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities on seeking federal solutions to the crisis.