BURLINGTON (AP) -- Vermont doesn’t have the facilities to accept large numbers of immigrant children, Gov. Peter Shumlin said in a letter to the regional head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

He was responding to a request from DHS made to the states asking about the availability of a 90,000-square-foot facility that could host up to 1,000 children.

The agency is seeking shelter for thousands of Central American children who have entered the U.S. illegally along the U.S.-Mexican border.

"Should the Agency decide to look into smaller scale options, please let us know," Shumlin’s letter said. "Our ability to pursue any particular choice will depend on further local and community engagement and an understanding of the federal support and oversight that would accompany such a situation."

The Burlington Free Press reports Vermont is willing to help if it can.

An office of HHS is caring for the children.

"Our hearts go out to the families -- parents and children -- who have made these dangerous journeys and are now in custody," Shumlin’s letter said. "We support your efforts to find a safe and humane solution to this serious problem. Please let us know if we can help."

Three of the immigrant children have been placed in Vermont, although no details have been released about where or with whom.


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