Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba’s plan, to house up to 200 unaccompanied children that are detained on the southern U.S. border, was attacked on national television by Davenport 2nd Ward Alderman Bill Edmond.
Edmond rebuked Gluba’s Caring Cities Campaign stating, “I will stand in front of the buses, if I have to, to stop them,” during a July 20, 2014 appearance on Meet the Press.
The next day, Gluba fired back in an exclusive interview with News 8.
“America is much better than this. You can’t have these kids continued to be held in glorified pins,” Gluba said.
Gluba said his plan to help the unaccompanied children has been the bullseye of misinformation.
He says the funding is at the center of the misconception.
“There will be no local money involved. This is totally paid for by the federal government,” Gluba said.
Gluba explained that, if Davenport housed these children, protocol would be followed, including routine checkups and immunizations before their arrival.
Alderman Bill Edmond told News 8 he doesn’t want Davenport to intervene with what he calls a “federal issue.”
“If we bring these kids to Davenport, word gets back quick in Central America,” Edmond said.
“Our own Border Patrol, and the Department of Homeland Security, has said the majority of these children are actually over the age of 14; many of them wearing gang tattoos,” Edmond added.
Others in the community have shown their opposition to Gluba’s plan. In Moline, protestors lined up along I-74 to display their concern with bringing unaccompanied children to the Quad Cities.
(Watch video from those demonstrators in the player below)
While some have protested, Mayor Gluba said there have also been many supporters.
As the political divide tears through the Quad Cities, Mayor Gluba stated he doesn’t plan on backing down.
“In Davenport, we pride ourselves in being an open, caring and passionate community. I’m not backing down from that one inch,” Gluba said.