Indiana governor Mike Pence said he first learned the federal government had placed 245 unaccompanied alien children in Indiana through media reports.
In a letter to President Obama, Pence wrote that the Department of Health and Human Services informed him that the federal government had housed hundreds of unaccompanied alien children in Indiana from January 1, 2014, to July 7, 2014, but only after reports surfaced in the media.
“While we feel deep compassion for these children, our country must secure its borders and provide for a legal and orderly immigration process,” Pence wrote. “Failure to expedite the return of unaccompanied children thwarts the rule of law and will only continue to send a distorted message that illegally crossing into America is without consequence.”
Pence said HHS would only provide him with updated monthly numbers of unaccompanied alien children living in the Hoosier State during the first week of each month. Pence called this unacceptable and noted that Indiana may be expected to be responsible for the illegal immigrant children’s education, health and welfare.
Meanwhile, as of March 2014, nearly 8,000 illegal immigrants in Indiana have had their requests for temporary effectively legal status accepted via President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created in 2012. Nearly 2,800 more people had their requests for DACA protection accepted in Indiana than did in New Mexico during the same time frame. That may provide insight about how Obama’s possible plans to unilaterally legalize five million illegal immigrants later this summer would impact Indiana, a concern that’s surely on Pence’s mind.
“What we are currently experiencing in Indiana and states across the nation as this crisis deepens, however, is neither sensible nor humane,” Pence wrote. “States should not be asked by the federal government to deal with the consequences of a failed national immigration policy.”