HHS Let 138 Illegal Immigrant Minors Into Iowa; Local Alderman Vows to Lay in Front of Bus to Stop More
The Department of Health and Human Services and its Office of Refugee Resettlement have sent 138 illegal immigrant minors to Iowa “Behind the scenes”.
The Quad Cities Times reports:
Central American children who have crossed the U.S. border illegally are making their way to Iowa “behind the scenes” with the help of family members and support groups to avoid drawing attention or the ire of protesters, an Iowa Latino leader said Tuesday.
Joe Enriquez Henry, state director of the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa, or LULAC, a Latino civil rights organization founded in 1929, said he is aware of family members who have driven to the Mexican border to be reunited with unaccompanied children who have sought refuge from the violence in their countries.
Henry said the activity has been forced to operate “in the shadows” in part because of Gov. Terry Branstad’s public opposition to efforts to welcome children to Iowa who have entered the United States illegally.
Branstad’s office said Tuesday an official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that 122 children were released to relatives or other sponsors in Iowa during the past six months.
“To clarify, there have been 122 minors discharged from the Unaccompanied Alien Children program and placed with sponsors in Iowa between January 1 and June 30, 2014,” Kenneth J. Wolfe, deputy director of the Office of Public Affairs within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, said in an email.
Beth Levine of Iowa U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office said, however, that Health and Human Services officials on Tuesday updated the number to 139 through July 18, a figure that reflected children released to sponsors in Iowa but did not address minors who may have been sent to larger facilities.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, upon learning of the release of over 100 illegal immigrant minors into his state without his knowledge, was livid.