Tags: Immigration | immigrant children | andrew cuomo | new york shelters

NY Gov. Cuomo: Officials Not Sure Where All Immigrant Children Placed

By    |   Friday, 22 June 2018 08:59 AM

About 700 children who have been separated from their parents are living in shelters through the state of New York, but state officials are not sure where all the children have been placed or if they're getting the services they need, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

"New York State has a large foster care system, so many of the children came to New York," Cuomo told CNN's "New Day."

"The foster care agencies weren't prepared, they hadn't been notified, because no one expected this to happen, so they are in different foster care facilities."

Differing levels of services are offered at the facilities, said Cuomo, and some children have also been placed in private foster care homes.

"We're now trying to go backtrack and find out where were they sent and where have they gone, and are they getting the appropriate level of services," the governor said. "I sent a letter to HHS [Health and Human Services] and said, number one, I don't know why you wouldn't tell us what children have been placed in the state. We will be willing to provide mental health services, et cetera, to these traumatized children at our cost and I've heard nothing back from HHS."

Part of the issue, he added, is that when President Donald Trump's administration started its zero tolerance policy in April, it never really thought matters through. Further, the idea that separating parents from their children at the border would serve as a deterrent proved to be wrong.

"HHS then had to start this shuttle of these 2,500 children or whatever the number actually is all across the country," said Cuomo. "New York State has a large foster care system so many of the children came to New York. The foster care agencies weren't prepared, they hadn't been notified, because no one expected this to happen."

HHS has also put a "gag order" on the state's foster care agencies, so they can't report if they are housing immigrant children.

Cuomo said New York does have a good foster care system, but the immigrant children have been "highly traumatized."

He also called concerns that immigrants caught crossing into the country illegally won't return for their court dates "baloney."

"You know that we have many systems in this country where people are accused, they're arrested, they're accused of a crime, they're released in a number of fashions and they come back for their court date," said Cuomo. "Bail systems work. Placement with model families work where they're put in the custody of a family and they have a 96 percent return rate. There are other ways to do this."

However, the current situation was "all politics," said Cuomo. "This was a president who ran on this issue and wants to say I'm going to be tough on the border. That's all this is. It's playing macho to a base that has been inflamed against immigrants and infestation of immigrants. It's in violation of the law. There are much better ways to do it and you used 2,500 children as pawns."

But as governor, he added, "it's my constitutional responsibility to take care of their health and welfare. Why won't you tell me where they are?"

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About 700 children who have been separated from their parents are living in shelters through the state of New York, but state officials are not sure where all the children have been placed or if they're getting the services they need, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.
immigrant children, andrew cuomo, new york shelters
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2018-59-22
Friday, 22 June 2018 08:59 AM
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