The city of Madison may be called on to shelter between 150 to 250 unaccompanied and undocumented children who’ve come into the country through the Mexican border.
Mayor Paul Soglin told News 3 the city is working with several community organizations to find a facility to shelter the children. The city is looking for a facility of at least 90,000 square feet, like unused grocery stores.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services is asking all cities with more than 200,000 people to consider hosting children. All expenses would be paid by the federal government.
Soglin said they've been searching for potential sites within the city for a week, but have not found one. He said they are concerned that they won't.
The children would stay in Madison no more than 90 days.
Soglin said agreeing to help find a facility to use as a shelter was an easy decision.
“It is the right thing to do. That’s the simplest, it is the most uncomplicated answer,” Soglin said. “They’re all kids and these kids are alone. They are undoubtedly scared, they’ve probably seen a great deal of despair and most likely death through their young lives, and we’re good people.”
Soglin said he would not expect protests like what's being seen elsewhere in the country. He said hosting the children is the right thing to do.
Rev. David Bergner, director of the Milwaukee chapter of Catholic Charities, said they’ve identified three potential sites to bring children to Wisconsin. Two locations are in Milwaukee and a third is in northeast Wisconsin.