Dem Gov. O'Malley Blasts White House For Trying to 'Discredit' Remarks

Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 02:22 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a potential Democratic presidential candidate for 2016, Tuesday accused the White House of trying to put a spin on his comments on unaccompanied migrant children and teenagers.

"I think that was a spin and a misrepresentation that some at the White House tried to put out in order to discredit the larger point that I was making," he told Fusion's Jorge Ramos.

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The Obama administration and O'Malley have been a war of words since last month, when the governor criticized plans to deport children more quickly, but then urged the administration not to send minors to a former Army Reserve Center in Westminster, Md., reported CNN

The governor Tuesday said that he opposed moving children to the facility because the "law calls for placements in homes."

According to immigration law, reports The Huffington Post, unaccompanied minors from lands other than Canada or Mexico are to be transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services for placement in homes, preferably with family members, while immigration proceedings are held.

The governor has said, as the controversy grew, that his state has the largest per capita number of unaccompanied minors of any state.

According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Maryland accepted 2,205 of the minors between Jan. 1 and July 7. The largest number of minors were placed in homes in Texas, at 4,280, followed by New York, California, Virginia, and Florida also accepting more than 2,000 children.

And even while O'Malley does not want the children placed at the Army Reserve Center, he told Ramos that he'd be open to housing the children in more "hospitable places."

The site being considered, said O'Malley, has been defaced with "some really hateful graffiti," painted on buildings, including "No Undocumented Democrats," and he believes "there are more hospitable places if congregate settings is what the White House continues to look for. There are other places in Maryland that would be more hospitable than that location."

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