Los Angeles’ plan to house undocumented immigrant children in shelters around the city has found an unlikely critic: the homeless.
KCAL9 reports Mayor Eric Garcetti met with nonprofit groups to find shelter for the slew of undocumented immigrants crossing the border – many of whom are children – as they await court hearings regarding their resident status.
Garcetti said the move was not political in nature, but instead was simply the right thing to do.
“Before you get partisan, before you tell me where you are on immigration, these are children,” he said. “As a father, who are we as Americans if we do not step forward first? I see this as not just a moral issue but as a practical one.”
But homeless activist Ted Hayes was none too pleased with the move.
“It’s kind of a slap in the face to U.S. citizens,” Hayes said, who is concerned the move will hurt homeless American children. “It’s embarrassing. It’s hurtful. Because it’s like a father saying that he loves children outside of the family more than he loves his own.”
The number of homeless students in the United States could be more than 1.1 million according to a 2013 report by the Department of Education.
“We feel for them,” Hayes added. “We feel their pain. But we are feeling pain of our own children first.”
A timetable for housing the children has not been set.