The Buzz

July 29, 2014

SC delegation wants answers about immigrant children coming to the state

The eight Republican members of South Carolina's congressional delegation sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services asking about 350 undocumented immigrant children placed with sponsors in the state.

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

The eight Republican members of South Carolina's congressional delegation sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services asking about 350 undocumented immigrant children placed with sponsors in the state.

"We are troubled that this data is just coming to light and was not provided to Congress or our delegation in a timely and regular fashion," the letter says. (Click to see the full letter under "related content")

The six congressmen and two senators said they want know if the children are being housed at military installations and federally-contracted shelters in South Carolina.

They also want assurances that federal official will notify the state and the congressional delegation if more children come into South Carolina.

"I am extremely concerned that my office’s repeated attempts to request data about any and all placements in South Carolina was consistently met with misleading information,” U.S. Sen Tim Scott, R-North Charleston.

“Throughout this process, we have continually been told by various Obama Administration agencies that no unaccompanied minors had been placed in South Carolina and that no plans existed to start those placements," Scott added. "Clearly that information was wrong, and the administration must provide us the truth in answering today’s letter.”

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Springdale, echoed concerns raised by Gov. Nikki Haley, R-Lexington, last week that the policy is "inappropriately mandating that taxpayers foot the bill for those who have ignored our laws." More than 30,000 children have been transferred to sponsors nationwide this year.

Federal officials said they won't release information about individual children because of privacy and safety concerns. Federal authorities told Haley's office that they have not housed or plan to house children in state or military facilities.

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