Photo: Jonathan McIntosh (Flickr)
Gov. Mike Pence is sending President Barack Obama a letter, asking for answers regarding the increasing number of unaccompanied immigrant children crossing the U.S./Mexico border.
Last week, a U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s Administration for Children and Families report shows 245 children were sent to Indiana to stay with “sponsors,” who are normally relatives or family friends.
The governor says Indiana’s Department of Homeland Security was not informed about the kids before they were brought into the state. Pence says in his letter, he wants to know who the children are, when they were placed, where they are being placed and demanding real time information.
“There’s a broad range of issues that bear upon the obligations of the state of Indiana. We simply cannot be left in the dark when these children and vulnerable families are dispersed throughout the state of Indiana,” Pence told Network Indiana.
Pence says Obama needs to take special care to address the border crisis and not put them in a permanent institution, but process them “humanely” and “in accordance with the law.”
Because many of the children come from Central America, President Obama met with the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador last week where he called the situation a “significant challenge.”
“All of us recognize we have a shared responsibility to solve this problem,” Obama said as he sat next to the three Central American leaders. “I emphasized to all three presidents that the American people and my administration have great compassion for these children and want to make sure they are cared for the way all children should be cared for.”
Obama also announced the U.S. had increased border patrol agents, the number of facilities dedicated to housing the children and the resources for immigration courts to process claims more quickly.
Network Indiana contributed to this report.