McCrory demands details from feds on immigrant children

Posted August 5, 2014

— Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday that state officials have been kept in the dark about the immigrant children being placed in North Carolina, and he demanded more information – and work toward a solution – from federal officials.

Close to 1,200 children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border during the first six months of this year have been placed with sponsors – many times relatives – in North Carolina, and the governor said he expects that number to increase "fairly dramatically" when July numbers come in. Already, the state has seen twice the number of immigrant children as it does in an average year, he said.

"This is not just a border issue any longer," McCrory said at a news conference, where he was joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos, Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry and Division of Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry.

"If the numbers continue to increase at this rate, if could have a severe impact on the current resources that we have to take care of North Carolina children," McCrory said.

The state has received no information about the immigrant children other than the number who are in North Carolina, he said. So, officials don't know if they pose any public health risks because of lack of immunizations or individual medical needs or if the children could be endangered by being placed in abusive situations.

"We're not in the loop," he said. "At a minimum, we want to know who they are, where they're going and who their sponsors are."

Although the federal government insists that background checks have been done on the children's sponsors, McCrory said he doesn't believe that to be the case, noting the time and money involved in conducting thorough checks. He said many of the sponsors are likely in the U.S. illegally themselves.

"Questions are being asked, but a thorough review is not being done," he said.

Returning the children to their home countries also poses problems, McCrory said, noting U.S. immigration courts are backlogged – the court in Charlotte has a 257-day waiting period – and fewer than half of the children will even show up for their hearing, based on previous data.

"The likelihood of these kids returning home is very rare," he said.

The governor urged President Barack Obama and Congress to cut short their vacations and return to Washington, D.C., to craft a solution to the flood of unaccompanied children streaming across the border from Mexico and into states such as North Carolina.

"I'm worried about these children," he said.

El Pueblo, a nonprofit advocacy group for Latinos in the Triangle, characterized McCrory's news conference as grandstanding and said his statements are misguided.

"Gov. McCrory is sending a clear message that immigrants, even children who are fleeing violence, are unwelcome in North Carolina,” Angeline Echeverría, executive director of El Pueblo, said in a statement. “Instead of presenting proactive strategies for effective immigrant integration, the governor continues to waste state resources by focusing his time and energy on this media campaign to criticize federal authorities. The governor should work to ensure that all children who come to North Carolina, regardless of their immigration status, have the opportunity to grow up in safe, healthy communities.”


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Aug 7, 2014

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    So, your name is personal attack on me? Thank you. Imitation, especially when it's misplaced & misunderstood, is the sincerest form of flattery. I have a groupie! :-D

  • 50s Child Aug 7, 2014

    "You are the HORRIBLE just because you think all illegals are criminals.... People like YOU are so IGNORANTS!!!"

    Res ipsa loquitur.

  • Linzie Washington Aug 7, 2014
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    Actually LATINA-AMERICAN, there are not all children and of those that are children, the majority are male teenagers, many who are in gangs... and yes, there is a good chance that there are also terrorists coming in our porous border.

  • iggyo1 Aug 7, 2014

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    Um I would re-think who the term Ignorant apples to. Here are your definitions.

    crime noun : an illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government

    crim·i·nal adjective:
    1 : relating to, involving, or being a crime
    2 : relating to crime or to the prosecution of suspects in a crime
    3: guilty of crime; also : of or befitting a criminal

  • shallottemustang Aug 7, 2014

    Well, as usual, we can let me and the rest of the middle class pay for them. This won't stop until one day we wake up and something bad (a dirty bomb, disease, terrorist, gangs...) has been determined to have come in along with them. But as usual it will be too little too late.

    Side note...Dems want them because it increases their ranks.

  • beaupeep Aug 6, 2014

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    You really show a lack of understanding of basic banking and economics here.

  • Latina-American Aug 6, 2014

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    Understand these are children not terrorists Don't be ignorant, if they Came here is for a reason, Tell me
    who wants to leave their families?!!

  • Latina-American Aug 6, 2014

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    yes! But those little kids are HUMANS !

  • Latina-American Aug 6, 2014

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    You are the HORRIBLE just because you think all illegals are criminals.... People like YOU are so IGNORANTS!!!

  • Linzie Washington Aug 6, 2014
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    They have family to return to in a place that they grew up. In the US, they are often being handed to people that have not been vetted who are getting thousands of dollars a month to take them. Imagine who might take advantage of that situation. They are in a foreign land with no home, no people, etc.
    97% of them when asked said that the reason they were coming here was that they heard they would get amnesty and that our government said that there is work for them here. That is not running FROM something, it is running TO something and we cannot afford to take in everyone in the world who wants to come here.