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Undocumented minors plan meets opposition
Greece, N.Y. - Town Supervisor Bill Reilich (R) today expressed opposition to a plan that would have potentially placed hundreds of unaccompanied and undocumented children and teenagers in an industrial/office building along Lexington Avenue.
Federal officials acknowledged to 13WHAM News that Greece was one of many potential locations across the country being considered by the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Homeland Security.
"All of the comments I've heard are negative," Reilich said at a news conference on Monday. "There are so many questions that need to be answered that we're not prepared to see this go forward."
Reilich also said the building, one of three on the property owned by Acquest Development, is not suitable and not up to code to be able to serve as a temporary home for the undocumented children.
"It's an empty shell," he said, referring to unused portion of the building being considered. "There are better options and it's the federal government's issue to find those locations."
Reilich said he spoke with the property owner about what he described as the strong opposition to the potential plan.
"He assured me that the federal government, as well as the developer would not go forward with this if there was not support from the community," Reilich continued. "There is not support for this to go forward in the Town of Greece."
The plan to find temporary shelter for the unaccompanied, undocumented minors is the result of a large spike in minors entering the U.S. illegally through the Mexico/U.S. border.
Many of the minors illegally entering the U.S. are from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, as crime, gangs and drug activity continue to increase in the countries.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) tells 13WHAM News he had not been briefed on Rochester being a potential choice to place the undocumented minors.
"We passed a tough immigration bill in the Senate," Schumer said, describing it as a bi-partisan compromise. "I'm hoping the House of Representatives will pass this law and we won't have these problems."
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Monday evening, the site is no longer being considered because it does not meet their reqirements.