UPDATED: 30,000 Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Released to Spo - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

UPDATED: 30,000 Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Released to Sponsors

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Thousands of people, trying to escape Central America are ending up in our backyards.

An issue making headlines for weeks: un-accompanied immigrant children coming to this country, and how to address this issue.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says more than 30,000 immigrant children have been placed with sponsors around the country.

4 children are now living in North Dakota, and in Minnesota the number swells to 173.

Illegal immigrant children are coming across the border alone. They are moving in with sponsors, typically parents or family members.

The U.S. Office of Refugee Re-settlement is responsible for them.

Then it's up to the courts whether they can stay or are sent back.

While the state has no financial stake in these new refugees, North Dakota state Senator Tim Mathern believes we should open our arms and doors, to these young people trying to escape.

"We have a work ethic, we have families, we have room for more children, and it would not only benefit children, but it would benefit North Dakota," says Mathern.

Congressman Collin Peterson tells Valley News Live he’s backing a bill, sponsored by a Texas democrat, and a Texas republican. The bill would speed up the deportation of children in this country illegally from central America.

Peterson says it's the best thing for them to be with their families, instead of shipping them all over the country. Representative Kim Koppelman, from West Fargo agrees.

"Well there are tremendous costs, there are human costs, and there are financial costs, and the problem is the president is not enforcing the laws that are on the books," says Koppelman.

Cost is something Congressman Kevin Cramer is concerned about. He says it lands on the tax payer. While Cramer says he didn't know these 4 immigrant children were coming to North Dakota, he says he expected it.

He says Homeland Security estimates 30,000 children will become 90,000 by the end of this year.

It's important to note that Lutheran Social Services does not place illegal immigrant children.

It's handled federally.

Original Story:

The federal government says that four unaccompanied immigrant children have been placed with sponsors in North Dakota, and another 173 children in Minnesota.

More than 30,000 children have been released around the county this year.

More to come on Valley News Live.
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