Nebraska Appleseed questions why Gov. Dave Heineman insists the federal government disclose where 200 children who have entered the country illegally are staying in Nebraska.
Becky Gould with Nebraska Appleseed says there really isn’t any need for the governor to know where they are, because they won’t be using state services.
“There are some areas where there would be help that could be provided in an emergency situation certainly to these children, but they’re not going to be eligible for most public benefits,” Gould tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “And so, I don’t know that it’s clear what the purpose of the state having that information would be.”
Heineman has accused the federal government of secretly transporting illegal immigrant children to Nebraska.
In an interview with Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KFAB, Heineman said he was surprised to learn that roughly 200 illegal immigrant children have been placed in Nebraska. Heineman said an advisor with the federal Department of Health and Human Services told him the department has no intention of sharing that information with him.
“I can’t believe in America that we have a federal government who is essentially secretly transporting them to Nebraska, they are illegal immigrants, and they won’t tell us who they are,” Heineman told KFAB.
Heineman said he doesn’t know if more of the children from Central America crossing the southern border illegally will make their way to Nebraska.
Gould says Nebraska Appleseed encourages compassion for these children.
“Many of the children that are coming to Nebraska are being placed with family members here rather than being placed in a detention facility while they’re awaiting their court dates,” according to Gould. “And many of these children are fleeing violent situations in their home countries in Central America and being placed with family members here makes a lot of sense.”
The Obama Administration has signaled that it plans to deport most of the minors who have entered the country illegally, unaccompanied by adults. President Barack Obama is expected to ask for an emergency appropriations to speed up the legal process for the estimated 52,000 children. Most seem to have come into the country from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this article.