Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had no idea how many illegal immigrant were being held in his own city, he said in a Wednesday speech in Harlem.
“Who are these children? How many are they? Where are they? What is happening here? How is it possible that none of us knew that there 239 kids right here in our city?” de Blasio said in the Wednesday speech outside New York City’s Cayuga Centers facility, which holds unaccompanied minors.
The mayor said, according to a transcript from his office, that while he was aware of the 239 children being held in Cayuga Centers, there may be more held in other federally funded facilities.
“‘[W]e’re learning for the first time the extent of this in the city,” de Blasio said of children being held in facilities in New York City. (RELATED: Restaurant Manager Where Secretary Nielsen Was Mobbed ‘Happy About What Happened’)
Cayuga Centers, de Blasio said, is a social service provider rather than a detention center. De Blasio urged protesters not to go after the social workers in the center, but rather to express their grievances to the Trump administration.
“There’s no question these kids are getting support here,” the mayor said. “If someone disagrees with the Trump administration, direct your energy there.”
Cayuga Centers is primarily a nonprofit focused on providing care for foster children. However, in 2014, the organization began helping with the processing of undocumented, unaccompanied minors. The Cayuga website does not mention caring for children who were separated from their parents.
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