During the event — read a summary and watch the full video by clicking here — the Governor claimed that the state knows virtually nothing about the children in question and reiterated the claims he made several days ago in a letter he signed along with five other conservative governors that sponsors for children were not properly vetted, that the children may not be properly vaccinated and that the children may be headed for the worlds of drugs and prostitution.
In other words, by all indications, neither the Governor nor his staff have bothered to check out the website of the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement — i.e. a location in which many of his concerns and claims are specifically addressed and refuted on several pages devoted to the child refugees crisis.
Had he bothered to do so he could have read the following from a special page that describes the process being employed right now — which might have also provided him with a hint as to why the Feds haven’t invited McCrory and HHS Secretary Aldona Wos (who stood sullenly at the Guv’s side during his ramble) into the process:
Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors by State
When a child who is not accompanied by a parent or guardian is apprehended by immigration authorities, the child is transferred to the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). ORR cares for the children in shelters around the country until they can be released to a sponsor, typically a parent or relative, who can care for the child while their immigration case is processed.
Ensuring that a potential sponsor can safely and appropriately care for the child is a top priority. A background check is conducted on all potential sponsors, and steps are taken to verify a potential sponsor’s identity and relationship to the child. In some cases where concerns are raised, a home study is done.
Before children are released to a sponsor, they receive vaccinations and medical screenings. We do not release any children who have a contagious condition.
The sponsor must agree to cooperate with all immigration proceedings.
If ORR cannot identify a viable sponsor, the child will typically remain in ORR care unless the following happens:
- The child goes before the immigration judge and requests a voluntary departure
- A judge orders the child to be deported and DHS repatriates
- The child turns 18, transferring custody back to DHS
- Legal relief, in some form is granted by an immigration judge
Ensuring the privacy and safety of children is of paramount importance. We cannot release information about individual children that could compromise the child’s location or identity. (Emphasis supplied).
The site goes on to explain that the current national total of refugees kids is 30,340 — of whom 1,191 children are in North Carolina. It even provides a breakdown by gender and country of origin.
The bottom line – As noted the other day, there’s plenty of blame to go around on the refugee crisis, but uninformed, anti-immigrant fear mongering by Pat McCrory sure isn’t going to help. Let’s hope fervently that, once the Governor makes his political hay by ginning up the conservative base, he goes back to doing what he’s done best on this subject: keeping his beak closed.