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Sweden weighs immigrant proposal
Sweden, N.Y. - The federal government is considering an old Wal Mart store in Sweden to house illegal immigrant children.
The number of minors illegally entering the U.S. through Mexico has soared more than a thousand percent.
Sweden Town Supervisor Robert Carges said, "It's a big empty building I don't know what kind of restrooms facility they have. I went into it when it used to be a store, but again that's been a long time. We have not been inside."
Supervisor Carges was surprised when he heard the news Wednesday morning. He said he has not been contacted by the federal government, namely the Health and Human Services Department (HHS).
Carges does not think the site is appropriate for anyone to live.
"Can the federal government override that? That's the big question," said Carges. "It certainly isn't zoned for residential. We would consider that if people were staying there living, but it's a commercial zone."
HHS operates hundreds of these facilities across the country. They shelter minors until a sponsor or family member can pick them up.
Supervisor Carges told 13WHAM community members have expressed a great deal of concern through phone calls and email.
He said the community has responded by saying: "It's not the appropriate place. We don't know what these kids are like. Do they have any illnesses?
June Hahn lives nearby and said, "I just don't think it's an appropriate place for them. If they want to house these kids why don't they take them back to where they came from or a place closer to where they came from?"
Carges said he is not aware of any visits made by the federal government to the old store site. He plans to get in touch with the property owner to learn more.