A former Grumman building in Bethpage is not a suitable site to house unaccompanied children in the United States illegally, officials said.
On Thursday, Reps. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and Peter King (R-Seaford) and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced their opposition to the news that federal government is considering a former Grumman site to house “the influx of unaccompanied children.”
The building currently eyed is Peregrine Business Park at 15 Grumman Rd. West, which "is already slated for a major renovation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services," Newsday reported.
Officials point out that the site is near a New York State Superfund site. They have been in touch with the Department of Health and Human Services and the General Services Administration to express their concern and disapproval.
“It is unacceptable for the Department of Health and Human Services to consider moving thousands of unaccompanied alien children from the southwest border to Long Island, especially to an industrial park in Bethpage,” King said in a statement. “The site itself is inappropriate to be used as a shelter, especially for children.”
“Unaccompanied children coming into our borders is a humanitarian crisis, but housing them in an industrial warehouse near a Superfund site is not a humanitarian solution,” Israel noted. “I will continue working with Rep. King and County Executive Mangano to ensure that HHS and GSA rethink their consideration of this site.”
“We are hearing that there could be as many as 99,000 children and minors brought illegally into the U.S. before the end of the year,” King added. “It is vital that the Administration find a solution to prevent the influx of these children, including sending a strong message that they will not be permitted to remain in the United States and that route into the country is extremely dangerous between the heat, terrain, and the criminal organizations controlling the smuggling operations. The Administration must look for solutions at the border and not transfer children across the United States.”
Mangano echoed these sentiments.
“The Bethpage Industrial Park is clearly not a suitable location for housing due to environmental restrictions and other covenants that strictly prohibit housing, and goes further to specifically restrict child activities, on the former Northrop Grumman Corporation property,” he said. “Together with Congressmen Steve Israel and Peter King, I urge Federal officials to seek alternatives as Bethpage is not a solution for the Federal immigration crisis.”