Los Angeles Mayor Says City Will Step Up for Migrant Children

By Julianne Hing Jul 15, 2014

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday that his city will open its arms to house migrant children as they await immigration processing, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"As a father, who are we as Americans if we don’t step forward first and say, these kids who are isolated, alone … let’s get them someplace safe and secure," Garcetti said today, the paper reported. The exact details are as yet unclear, the mayor said.

Garcetti’s response is in stark contrast to that of Murrieta, Calif. mayor Alan Long, who encouraged residents to protest the proposed dropoff of migrants at his city’s Border Patrol station. Meanwhile in the border town of Oracle, Arizona, residents mimicked Murrieta on Tuesday with protests of their own meant to keep out boys who were set to be dropped off in town, NBC reported.

The crisis stems from the arrival of tens of thousands of migrant children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala who are fleeing violence, forced recruitment into gangs, and poverty. Some 90,000 migrant children are expected to cross into the U.S. by year’s end. Despite steady increases in the number of arrivals since 2011, this year’s arrivals have made the crisis a "humanitarian situation," according to the Obama administration.