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  1. #1
    Pedro56's Avatar
    Pedro56 is offline Englewood Ranger/Infidel Extraordinaire
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    Suburban Chicago residents oppose shelter for immigrant children

    February 4, 2007

    (CHICAGO) - The children rarely leave the federal immigrant shelter, a former nursing home near the city's lakefront that houses undocumented children found alone in the U.S.
    Teachers and doctors are brought to them. And aside from occasional field trips or visits to a nearby park, the children spend almost all their time indoors -- although it may be months before they know whether they will be deported or allowed to stay.

    But plans to provide more room by converting a 2.5-acre estate near suburban Naperville -- with an 11,000-square-foot house, tennis court and swimming pool -- into a first-of-its-kind shelter for undocumented Indian and Chinese children hit a snag:

    Neighbors in wealthy Lisle Township don't want them.

    They say the shelter, which would house as many as 30 children, could create traffic problems, lower property values and strain water and sewer services.

    But some also worry that the children could escape and pose a threat to their own children. A flier circulated throughout the neighborhood said the shelter would be "WORSE than a halfway house!"

    "We're not against the children. We're not against anybody," said Daniel Daghfal, who helped organize opposition to the shelter, which requires a conditional use permit.

    "What we're saying is instead of changing the zoning, find a neighborhood that has that capability and has that type of dwelling," he said. "The whole purpose of the zoning laws is to protect the integrity of the neighborhood."

    But Hugo Ruiz, managing director of youth and residential services at Heartland Alliance Inc., the not-for-profit group that would operate the shelter, said he can't help but wonder if that's true.

    He said the flier, "created a panic" and was the result of misinformation. And whenever Heartland has addressed a concern, a new one has surfaced, Ruiz said. At a DuPage County Zoning Board meeting on Thursday, residents submitted a list of police calls in the area around the Chicago shelter -- even though no crimes were connected with the shelter, Heartland officials said.

    The board deadlocked 3-3 in a vote over whether to allow the shelter. Now the issue goes to the County Board.

    "It seems to be a moving target," Ruiz said. "I would be surmising here, but it seems that they just don't want us there. And that makes me sad. If we knew that their concerns were real and legitimate that would be different."

    Children apprehended after entering the country illegally without a parent or guardian are placed in one of 30 shelters run by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, if a relative cannot be located here.

    Many children come to escape poverty, but others could be fleeing war-torn regions or persecution; some may have been trafficked to work in forced-labor conditions, officials said. Law students work with children to ensure they are not deported if they have valid claims for asylum.

    The Lisle Township shelter would be the first in the U.S. to cater only to children from China and India, who comprise less than 1 percent of all children in federal custody. They typically stay in the U.S. longer than those from Latin America because their cases are more complicated.

    Chicago's children's shelter opened in 1996 following minimal opposition. But there has been opposition elsewhere.

    When residents in the Flushing section of Queens, N.Y., objected to a children's shelter, officials allayed their concerns by providing a clearer picture of how the shelter would operate and the children it would serve, ORR Director Martha Newton said.

    "If you go around and visit and see the shelters and the way we operate them, in most instances, you wouldn't even know it's there," she said.

    "The concerns and fears had some basis, but that was before all of the facts of what actually was being proposed came into the open," said New York City Councilman John C. Liu, noting there have been no complaints about the shelter since it opened in 2005.

    But Lisle Township residents say the issue boils down to a question of local rule and whether a community has the right to block an unwanted, federally funded program.

    "It's a quiet, equestrian estate house," Daghfal said. "They are going to change the whole outlook of the environment." ----------

    On the Net: Heartland Alliance: www.heartlandalliance.org

    U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement: www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/

    Zoning Board: www.dupageco.org/building/generic.cfm?doc--id 2349

    (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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  2. #2
    Pedro56's Avatar
    Pedro56 is offline Englewood Ranger/Infidel Extraordinaire
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    So I guess it is wrong for the people to not want to support illegals? I say ship em' back, no half way houses no amnesty, good bye and so long.
    http://www.lawenforcementforums.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic763_2.gif

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  3. #3
    BigDawg's Avatar
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    Sounds to me its a case of;


    "We as a government must do something about illegal immigrants in this country. The government must do more, just not in my back yard. Do something about it somewhere else."


    Sounds like what the people are saying. Give me a break!!!
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  4. #4
    BEB
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    Sounds like the same sort of NIMBY panic we had here when a local service group wanted to open a youth center. Traffic, and vandalism and plummeting property values!

    Now that it's been open a couple years and none of those predictions came true the neighbors are rather quiet.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDawg3533 View Post
    Sounds to me its a case of;


    "We as a government must do something about illegal immigrants in this country. The government must do more, just not in my back yard. Do something about it somewhere else."


    Sounds like what the people are saying. Give me a break!!!
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