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Mayor Miner Offers to Aid in Servicing Immigrant Children in Syracuse

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Mayor Miner Offers to Aid in Servicing Immigrant Children in Syracuse
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Could some of the thousands of child refugees from Central American soon be calling Central New York their temporary home? Bill Carey says officials in Syracuse say they have no problems offering the city and its many refugee services to help ease the immigration crisis.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Passing motorists may wonder by protesters have gathered outside facilities that use to be home to the Sisters of St, Francis.

The protest has its origins in Central America; a flood of young children fleeing violence, hoping to win refugee status in America.

Across the country, there have been protests when officials have even talked of providing shelter to the children.

Now, Syracuse's mayor says she wants the city to do just that.

"I've been reacting to what I see as the plight of the children. It's excruciating to think that any child would leave home or have their parents tell them to leave home because of the terror that is in their towns and villages. To make that kind of arduous journey means that the choices that they faced are just unimaginable," said Miner.

The mayor's latest pitch came in a letter to President Obama.

"We have a network of people who are used to dealing with refugee issues. And we have, most importantly, a compassionate community that wants to welcome these children and give them a safe place while these issues are worked out," said Miner.

The Mayor is not alone in offering a helping hand.

"They're somebody's children. They're loved. Parents made a great sacrifice, let them go, sent them here. I think that the parent that sends a child in a situation like that is hoping that their child will be received warmly and welcomed. Treated hospitably, and shown compassion," said Bishop Robert Cunningham, Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese.

The protesters say they will continue to speak out against the plan.

"We would rather see the poor, the hungry of Syracuse taken care of, the people who already live here, as opposed to new people," said Randy Potter, opposed to housing of refugees in Syracuse.

"There are people who are feeding misinformation to a lot of people. I've seen that in the people that I've talked to about this. There are no public health issues related to these children. There are no public safety issues related to these children. And yet you've seen that kind of theme and misinformation through a lot of this coverage," said Miner.

"Who cannot love a child? Who cannot support that child, reach out for that child, help that child. These kids have suffered tremendously and made, I'm sure, a harrowing journey from their own homes, here. And they've done it because their parents wanted them to have a better life," said Cunningham.

There is no final decision yet by federal officials on where the immigrants will be located.

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