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Polis, Hancock Would Welcome Child Refugees To Denver

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DENVER (CBS4) - Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, praised the “poise and grace” of the children entering the United States across the Mexico border, just as Denver is considering seeking federal grants to care for them.

Polis, along with eight other politicians, toured the border to meet with border patrol agents and some of the 57,000 young illegal immigrants who have surged in waves across the border since October.

“It was really remarkable to see the poise of some of these young people, having been through what they’ve been through, often two, three, four days on trains and buses often without adult supervision,” Polis told CBS4. He lauded “their poise and grace with which they’re handling the situation.”

His remarks come as Denver officials said they’re contemplating applying to care for some of the migrant children.

Denver Human Services and the city and county said on Friday they may ask for a three-year, $4 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help with temporary shelter and related care.

“The children trying to come to this country without their parents are victims of a humanitarian crisis.  In Denver, we care about kids.  The work of departments like DHS is how we answer the call to serve,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement.

The influx of migrant children has flared tempers in many states that have been asked — or have asked — to temporarily house the children for humanitarian purposes. Hancock said the city hasn’t been asked to support the migrant children.

“Denver today works with our community partners to support refugee children.  Year over year we serve a few dozen kids, and this grant would expand our capacity to meet a limited demand,” the mayor said.

The city has until Aug. 6 to submit an application, the Associated Press reported.

Some children may be headed to Watkins, east of the metro area. The Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of HHS, has reached out to Ridgeview Academy to see if it could accommodate some of the immigrants.

“Obviously (those against housing the children) are expressing their free speech,” Polis said, “but what I conveyed to many of these kids I talked to is those are not our American values.”

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