Malloy says no to housing immigrant children in Southbury

Southbury Training School (WTNH)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Governor Malloy has long been a major supporter of President Obama but he has delivered a big “No” to a request to bring thousands of Central American Children to Connecticut.

It was built in the 1930’s as a home for those with intellectual disabilities; The Southbury Training School sits on a 1,500 acre campus and consists of more than one hundred buildings and cottages. Only about 350 people live there now as laws and the philosophy about disabilities have changed.

At one time there were over 2,000 residents so you can understand why the Obama Administration would think it might be a good place to temporarily house 2,000 immigrant children while they await legal processing. With the Obama Adminstration desperately trying to process thousands of children from Central America now in detention in border states, the request to use Southbury was made earlier this month.

The Governor says he is sympathetic to the plight of the children but the answer is no.

“A lot of it’s been closed for a long, long time and so folks have taken a look at it and there’s just no way that those buildings could be made ready in a short period of time,” said the Governor.

“I’m upset because there have been discussions between the federal government and the Malloy Administration, as well as agencies about Southbury Training School, which is in my district, and we have heard nothing,” said Rob Kane.

Rob Kane is the local State Senator and says everyone at the local level was kept in the dark on this. More than half the 1,500 acre campus has been given to the town of Southbury and the State Agriculture Department. Kane added, “I’ve got a couple of constituents who are concerned about the overall issue and what’s taking place nationally in Texas and California and they brought it to my attention that this could be taking place in Connecticut.”

And the Governor noted that this is not really Connecticut’s problem that the Congress should give the President the 3$3.7 billion he has requested to deal with it within the border states. “That gives him resources necessary to address this situation in the states that are most directly impacted. We’re not a state that’s most directly impacted,” said the Governor.

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