The feds have done it again, this time attempting to secure an already-booked hotel in New York to house illegal immigrant children. The federal government has been criticized heavily for the handling and processing of illegal immigrants rushing to the border to flee turmoil in Central America. If dropping immigrants off by the hundreds at local Greyhound bus stations across the country, or leaving unnamed mass graves of those killed during crossing isn’t enough to make people question the efficiency of our immigration programs, how about being unable to properly scout appropriate housing for illegal immigrant children?
The Buffalo News reports, the federal government- in the form of the Department of Homeland Security and Border Patrol- made an almost comical mistake on Friday at Grand Island. The federal officials showed up at what they thought was a vacant hotel that might be able to house immigrant children who entered the country illegally – only to discover the fully occupied and recently renamed Byblos Niagara Resort and Spa.
It is unclear as to why government officials thought the hotel may be vacant or a suitable home to children, as the Byblos Niagara Resort and Spa was previously home to the “Entice the Falls” couple’s swingers convention in 2009. The hotel boasts on it’s website, “We feature tastefully appointed guestrooms with balconies overlooking the river, a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, plus a sauna and whirlpool. Take in a round of golf at the adjacent River Oaks Golf Course. Enjoy a delicious meal in Currents Restaurant overlooking the river and unwind over a cocktail in our comfortable lounge.” Balconies on every room, saunas, and being located right on the river doesn’t exactly sound like the most promising location to house thousands of children with minimal chaperons. Most parents when reading that description would hear drowning or death-by-fall waiting to happen.
However, the Department of Homeland Security thought it sounded perfect for children. So perfect, they showed up unannounced to check out the property. Imagine their surprise when they were greeted by hotel staff and a completely booked hotel.
The feds weren’t wasting any time. According to The Blaze, the only notification the local officials received was when HHS official Fatima A. Cuevas wrote an email to them on the day of the botched inspection:
The US Department of Health and Human Services and General Services Administration will be conducting an initial assessment of Lexington Commerce Center in Rochester, NY… and the Byblos Niagara Resort in Grand Island, NY… to determine whether it may be used as a facility for temporarily housing children who have come into the United States from other countries without an adult guardian.
As comical as the whole ordeal is on the surface, it is quite frightening that such an oversight could be made. Representative Chris Collins (R) said:
Attempts today by Washington bureaucrats to transfer undocumented immigrants to the Byblos Niagara Resort in Grand Island further exemplify their incompetence. Unfortunately, this is no laughing matter.
A former Walmart building in Brockport is also in consideration as a potential housing unit for the children, according to Rochester TWC News.
What do you think of the oversight of those handling the housing crisis for these immigrant children? What do you think should be done about the illegal cross-over of children at the border?