Sen. Johanns' Bill Would Force Feds' Disclosure of Border Children

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 06:41 PM

By Deena Winter,

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Sen. Mike Johanns, a Nebraska Republican, has introduced legislation requiring the federal government to notify state officials when undocumented border children are placed in their states.

His bill, co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Deb Fischer, also of Nebraska, comes on the heels of Nebraska Watchdog's report last week that 200 unaccompanied minors — many from Central America — have been placed in Nebraska by federal agencies after entering the United States illegally.

Department of Homeland Security officials told Johanns on June 27 that the children were placed with families or sponsors in Nebraska as part of a wave of Central American children who have crossed the border and overwhelmed Texas facilities. About 52,000 unaccompanied children have been caught or turned themselves in to the U.S. Border Patrol since October, double the number from the prior period, and that number is expected to rise to 90,000 by the end of the fiscal year.

Federal law requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to find a place for the children while they await deportation hearings. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman expressed outrage Friday after federal officials did not notify him before the children were placed in his state, and have since refused to give him information on the children, their whereabouts, and potential costs to taxpayers.

"States have a right to know the federal government is taking actions that impact their communities," Johanns said in a press release. "HHS' refusal to share with state leaders as they relocate tens of thousands of children is unacceptable."

The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that an Obama administration official said the undocumented children placed in Nebraska are being housed with relatives and sponsors, and that some are part of the recent border surge and others came earlier this year.

Fischer released a statement saying that while the United States tries to find ways to humanely address the border crisis, the lack of information from feds is frustrating leaders nationwide.

"The legislation I am supporting simply provides governors with access to information — already held by the federal government — so they can work to ensure the health and safety of our communities," she said. "I continue to believe the federal government's focus must be on safely returning these children to their home countries and finally and fully securing the southern border."

An HHS spokesman told the Journal the department is required by law to feed, shelter, and provide medical care for the children, and keep their personal information confidential.
They're also required to place them in safe settings until their immigration proceedings, and those homes are in many states, including Nebraska. Other children are placed in about 100 short-term shelters, most of them near the border with Mexico.

Nebraska Appleseed, a nonprofit that fights for social justice, has called for a response to the border crisis that "lives up to our fundamental values" and "recognizes the trauma these children have been through and that provides them with a meaningful opportunity to share their story and be properly screened for legal relief under the existing law."

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Virginia Police: Forensic Evidence Links 2 Cases

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:44 AM

They both were walking alone, separated from their friends late at night on or near the University of Virginia campus. O . . .

Report: Questions Raised as Md. Obamaphone Program Doubles

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:26 AM

The number of Maryland residents using Obamaphones increased 100-fold in three years, according to a new report.
Be . . .

O'Reilly: Colbert Has 'No Bleeping Clue' How to Fight ISIS

Monday, 29 Sep 2014 22:40 PM

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly shot back at Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, who last week mocked O'Reilly's idea of a mer . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved