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The Latest: Mayor seeks play space for migrant children

1 month 1 day 12 hours ago Wednesday, May 15 2019 May 15, 2019 May 15, 2019 1:09 PM May 15, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. (all times local):

1 p.m.

Donations are pouring into a relief fund for asylum seekers in New Mexico that would create a toy- and book-filled play area for migrant children at a temporary shelter in Albuquerque.

Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber announced Tuesday in an email that more than $10,000 in donations has been received and called the local community tremendously responsive and philanthropic.

He is leading efforts to raise money for a play area at a dormitory within state fairgrounds in Albuquerque. The state has offered the 60-bed dormitory as a temporary refuge for asylum seeking families from Central America. Migrants have yet to stay there amid preparations and prior reservations.

Webber has declined suggestions that Santa Fe shelter asylum seekers, saying it has few transportation options as migrants depart to reach relatives and other long-term sponsors across the U.S.

The Albuquerque City Council last week approved $250,000 in spending to help migrants passing through that city.

As federal authorities release asylum seekers into communities along the border with Mexico, flights and buses are being used move the migrants to less-crowded areas.

1 a.m.

Local spending on humanitarian relief to asylum seekers in New Mexico would be reimbursed by the federal government under a proposal from the state's delegation to Washington, D.C.

Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich and New Mexico colleagues on Tuesday sent a letter to leaders of Senate and House appropriations committees including Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama requesting reimbursements to local and state governments, along with non-governmental groups.

The request links federal government policies to a humanitarian crisis along the border and notes that more than 4,000 asylum seekers have been released in Las Cruces since April 12 as they apply for asylum.

It seeks unspecified reimbursements through a multibillion-dollar disaster aid bill.

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