In the wake of the revelation from the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services, which indicated that some unaccompanied miigrant children had already been settled into Idaho, it turns out that the vast majority of children arriving in the U.S. from Central America are already in the custody of relatives.
On July 23, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter fired off a letter to the Obama White House, saying Idaho didn't want any of the children, but within 24 hours, HHS said some children had already come to the Gem State. Even more children had been settled into Oregon and Washington. Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff said Otter's letter was nothing more than political posturing.
And the New York Times is reporting that a total of 30,340 migrant children have been released to sponsors, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Texas leads the list (4,280 children), followed by New York (3,347), Florida (3,181), California (3,150), Maryland (2,200) and Virginia (2,200).
The resettlement office says the children's sponsors must be vetted by criminal-background checks and promise to make sure that the child appears for required immigration court appearances. The adults do not have to be legal citizens, and the Times reports that officials acknowledge that some sponsors may be living in the U.S. illegally.
Children who are not able to find qualified sponsors (about 10 percent of the total) are placed in long-term shelters or foster care.
The majority of the children are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.