KIMT News 3 – The number of undocumented children in the country continues to grow, but the recently released figures in Iowa are shocking even area politicians.
More than 130 undocumented children have been reportedly sent to Iowa to live with host families for the time being.
Transparency is what many Iowa politicians are calling for from the Obama Administration, after several undocumented children have reportedly made the state their home.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, is now co-sponsoring a bill to require the federal government to notify the governor of any state, 48 hours prior to the arrival of unaccompanied immigrant children.
A first-of-it’s-kind bill, meant to help limit the number of children making it into unsuspecting states.
“It seems to me, since the state of Iowa is going to be responsible for their public safety and health and well-fare, that we all know what’s going on. Particularly, with the federal government. There should be cooperation between the federal and state governments,” said Grassley.
Other Iowa politicians such as State Sen. Jack Hatch are asking for a bipartisan approach to finding refuge for these children.
In his argument, these children should be considered refugees if they have been the victims of human trafficking and violence in their countries.
The argument echos a bill signed by former President George Bush back in 2008. The bill gives those undocumented immigrants from Central America who were victims of human trafficking or violence refugee status.
“That just isn’t understandable. Everything should be public. Governments, particularly the federal governments, except for our national security and except for people’s privacy are the exceptions. What’s the big deal about the secret,” said Grassley.
Since October 1, more than 57,000 children are in custody after crossing the Mexico border into the U.S.
Both Senator Grassley and Governor Branstad say they had no idea about the statistics in Iowa, until they called the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
State Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota is among the many politicians pushing for these undocumented children to become naturalized through the state.
Ellison says he plans on writing a letter to Governor Mark Dayton, asking for more resources and shelters for these children.