In a move that has taken the state of Georgia by surprise, it was announced yesterday that almost 1,154 immigrant minor detainees have been settled in Georgia. This action comes in response to the flood of thousands of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally to escape poverty and violence in Central America.
Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia was outraged at the government’s decision to place the immigrant children in Georgia throughout the last 6 months. According to Gov. Deal, his office was never notified of the federal government’s action. According to the AJC, Deal only learned that the immigrant detainees were in Georgia this past week. Apparently Deal was on a conference call with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell when he got the news. In response, Deal wrote a letter to President Obama which states in part, “It is unconscionable that your administration failed to pick up the phone, email or send a letter to my office to inform us that these children were being sent to our communities … These are communities that must provide support to these children and families as they wait the appropriate adjudication of their immigration status.”
There was no immediate response from the Obama administration regarding the letter. The issue of immigration and minor children has become a hot button issue. When it comes to resettlement, the federal government is not using state agencies or resources, instead it has turned to nonprofit charities to provide support and housing for the immigrant detainees. One such charity organization is the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes , which is currently operating group homes for the detainees.