DAVENPORT, Iowa (CBS St. Louis) – With the recent surge in immigrant children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, one mayor is hoping to play a role in helping care for them.
“They’ve got them basically in confinement along the Texas border and in other cities, and it’s probably overwhelming the system, so [the federal government] is looking for help. I think Davenport and the people of Davenport will help,” Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba told WQAD.
Gluba has reached out to the White House to offer help in housing and caring for some of those children. The Department of Health and Human Services sent him information about creating a new temporary facility in the Quad Cities area he shared.
“We are a welcoming country, and I said, ‘Something’s got to be done about it. Let’s start the process,’” Gluba told WQAD.
The mayor is now creating a a new team of representatives from area hospitals, schools, charities and churches. They met Monday at City Hall to discuss a plan of action.
“First of all, it’s an attitude of welcome — that these are special people, special children; they’ve gone through traumatic experiences, and they need special care, and we need to be able to provide that,” Nora Dvorack, the former director of the Refugee Resettlement Program for the Diocese of Davenport, told WQAD.
It hasn’t been decided how many immigrant children Quad Cities would take on or where they would stay, but Dvorack is keeping a positive attitude.
“Oh, we can do lots. We’ve done it in the past, we can do it again,” Dvorack shared.
More than 52,000 unaccompanied immigrants have been detained on the southern U.S. border since October.