Hundreds of unaccompanied children placed in Illinois

Jul 25, 2014

The U-S Department of Health and Human Services says 305 unaccompanied children caught at the U.S.-Mexico border were placed with Illinois sponsors as of about two weeks ago.   But Republican U-S Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois says hundreds more were at shelters.  

Speaking today in Urbana, Governor Pat Quinn says he met last week with the federal Health and Human Services secretary about the situation.  Quinn says the state will do what it can to help these children, but he wouldn’t specify what that might look like.

“We’re prepared to do what’s right, and I think it is very important that Illinois adhere to that standard when it comes to those who come to us seeking refuge from violence and cruelty, and if they’re children it’s a special obligation.”

The country faces a sharp rise in unaccompanied minors.  They're placed at government shelters and as they go through deportation proceedings, they’re released to sponsors, who are often family members.