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Hartford (AP) - More than 320 of the thousands of immigrant children who have streamed across the U.S. border from Central American countries have been placed with relatives living in Connecticut, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.
The Democratic governor has received some criticism for rejecting a recent federal request to temporarily house up to 2,000 children from Central America at the mostly vacant Southbury Training School. But Malloy's chief of staff has said that no surplus state property, including Southbury, met the federal government's requirements.
Some activists in New Haven have pressed the administration to make the former Gateway Community College property available to house the children. In a statement released Tuesday night, Malloy said officials are exploring the possibility of using the property, which is owned and controlled by the Board of Regents. However, Malloy contends the best way Connecticut can contribute to addressing the border crisis is working with the federal government to place children with relatives in the state.
Besides states, the federal government also has reached out to cities and other organizations to provide residential services for the unaccompanied minors.
A spokesman for Bridgeport Mayor William Finch said no decisions have been made, but Finch "believes that it's his duty to at least explore possible ways to help kids who are in need."