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Indiana Receives 245 Children Who Crossed U.S./Mexico Border

The federal government is placing the children with a "sponsor," who is normally a parent or relative.

three girls play along US/Mexico Border

Photo: Romel Jacinto (Flickr)

Three girls in quinceañera dresses play along the U.S./Mexico border fence at the beach in Tijuana.

Indiana has received 245 unaccompanied children who were caught at the U.S./Mexico border.

The children are some of the 57,000 migrant children that have entered the U.S. without their parents since October.

As NPR reports, many of the children are from Central American counties such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Elizabeth Kennedy, a Fulbright scholar who’s been working in El Salvador, has some answers. As part of her research in the capital, San Salvador, on unaccompanied minor migrants, she interviewed more than 500 children and adolescents as they returned to El Salvador after being deported from Mexico…

In most cases, Kennedy says, kids and teenagers leave Central America to avoid climbing levels of gang violence, extortion and drug trafficking. Sometimes, it’s to find their families. Ninety percent of the young people she’s interviewed have relatives in the U.S.; 50 percent have one or both parents there.

The Mexican government has recently announced a new initiative to step up control of its southern border. Kennedy says El Salvador is feeling the effects. The migrant return center where she works has gone from receiving one or two buses of children twice a week to receiving more than six a week.

After being taken into custody in the U.S., the children are placed with someone called a sponsor, who is usually a parent or a relative. If neither is an option, the Children and Families Administration places them with a family friend.

The sponsor is required to make sure the child goes to immigration proceedings and they’re responsible for making sure the child reports to officials if a judge issues a removal order.

The report the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s Administration for Children and Families released Thursday shows nationally more than 30,000 children have been released to sponsors this year.

Texas has taken in the most children – more than 4,200 – followed by  New York, Florida and California.

Sara Wittmeyer

Sara Wittmeyer is the News Bureau Chief for WFIU and WTIU. Sara has more than a decade of experience as a news reporter and previously served with KBIA at the University of Missouri, WNKU at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, KY, and at WCPO News in Cincinnati.

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