Immigration and State Government and Federal Government and Government & Economic Development and Government

Pence wants immigrant children returned to home countries

July 29, 2014

Gov. Mike Pence is asking that more than 200 immigrant children placed in Indiana be deported and chiding President Barack Obama for not alerting him of the placements.

Pence said Tuesday he did not learn about the placement of immigrant children with Indiana families until reading about it in news reports. The Obama administration is seeking friends and family members across the nation to take in thousands of unaccompanied children who have migrated to the U.S. illegally.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has placed 245 children with Indiana families since the start of the year.

Pence said in his letter the children should be returned to family members outside the U.S. He also requested regular updates of when immigrant children are placed with families in Indiana.

More than 30,000 children have been released to sponsors nationally this year through July 7. Data published July 24 by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families show Indiana has received 245 of those.

The U.S. is battling a surge in the number of unaccompanied children who have been fleeing violence in Central America and crossing into the U.S. because they believe they will be allowed to stay.

Children are placed in government shelters and then released to sponsors while they go through deportation proceedings. The sponsors often are relatives or family friends.

Texas, New York, Florida and California have received the most children.

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