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Suggests alternative use for Iowa Juvenile Home - State Training School for Girls in Toledo

July 17, 2014
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Editor's Note: Vernon Weems, Waterloo, shared this correspondence he recently had with the Governor's office concerning the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo:

Dear Mr. Overton:

In my three page letter I never asked Governor Branstad to help illegal aliens. I asked him to show hospitality and humanitarian compassion for children in a crisis who endured a journey of up to 2,000 miles. And upon arrival they sought the nearest US official and asked to be permitted to enter the United States of America. Now their pro se applications are being processed.

I asked for the governor to lease to the federal government the 27 acre Iowa Juvenile Home and State Training School for Girls campus which was ordered closed on Jan. 15 by Gov. Terry Branstad. Department of Human Services Director Charles Palmer said on June 25, 2014, there are "No plans" for it. It is a running debit on the Iowa budget and there is no other options existing to stop the bleeding.

I am pleading for Governor Branstad to reconsider because my Bible warns me not to let the children suffer for they are special to Jesus and Heaven. And more frightening are Jesus' words saying what is done for the least is done for Him. I am compelled to ask the Governor to find some way to help these legal survivors that are exercising their Constitutional Right of Due Process with the proper agency of our government.

Time is of the essence please be compassionate. Jesus told us if a person asks for your coat also give him your cloak. These survivors ask for sanctuary I ask the governor to give them hospitality while they wait as well.

I am a proud Iowan please do not bring shame to Iowa for being callous and inhospitable.


Vernon Weems

Here is Governor Branstad's official response to my request to use.

If you think that this is the wrong answer then maybe you can convince him to change his mind.

-Vernon Weems

To: Vernon Weems


July 8, 2014

Vernon Weems


Dear Vernon,

Thank you for contacting the Office of Governor Terry E. Branstad regarding your concerns about illegal immigration. Governor Branstad has been an active and vocal supporter of legal immigration and the opportunity to provide others the opportunity to live our American dream.

Governor Branstad currently has no plans to allow the federal government to place any illegal detainees in state facilities. Governor Branstad has and will continue to hold the deepest respect for the rule of law, and believes we must actively enforce our existing federal immigration laws.

Again, thank you for contacting our office. Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions or concerns.


Office of the Governor

Cord Overton,

Policy Adviso



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