PHOTO CREDIT: Eric Garcetti

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Mayor Eric Garcetti says he believes the city  can help find ways of providing shelter for some of the immigrant children who  have poured across the U.S.-Mexico border to escape violence in Central  America.

The mayor said the city was contacted by the U.S. Department of Health  and Human Services about possibly working with nonprofit groups to help find  housing and legal representation for immigrant children.

``They (nonprofits) have a lot of experience with that, of helping  reunify families and being able to -- with private donations -- be able to  house children,'' the mayor said.

Garcetti first discussed the issue at a morning forum hosted by Politico  magazine, telling the crowd that the children are alone, and as Americans, we  should ``get them someplace safe and secure.''

Asked later about possible city involvement in finding shelter for the  immigrant children, he said, ``As a father, the most important thing for me is  first to reunite them with their parents.''

But the mayor said the city could simply help the federal government  connect with nonprofit groups that can provide services for the children while  they await some resolution to their immigration cases.

``Here in Los Angeles ... hopefully these kids can be less isolated and  we can deal with the humanitarian aspects before we deal with their legal  cases,'' he said, noting that some of the children likely have family in the  Los Angeles area.

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