Gov. Walker has concerns about undocumented children in Wisconsi - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Gov. Walker has concerns about undocumented children in Wisconsin

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DEERFIELD (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) talked transportation and jobs during a campaign stop at a trucking company Friday, but he's also clearly been thinking about the potential impact of hundreds of undocumented children coming to Wisconsin.

The Associated Press reported on Thursday that 50 undocumented children are already in Wisconsin, but the Governor said he doesn't know where.  The City of Madison has suggested two sites to the federal government that could serve as a temporary shelter for up to 250 children.

"We haven't done a blanket opposition, we just raised a number of concerns," said Gov. Walker, who authored and sent a letter outlining those concerns to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Walker said several other Governors signed onto the letter as well.

"That's gonna add cost and a drain on the entire system - foster care, the public school system, potentially, depending on the state, Medicaid, other social services," said Gov. Walker.

That's because once a child stays in a temporary shelter for 30 to 60 days, they have to go live somewhere while they go through the process of seeking asylum in U.S. Immigration Court.

The first option for HHS is to place the children with sponsors, who are generally family members or friends.  But it is likely many of those sponsors would also be undocumented.  Gov. Walker is concerned that means many of the children may never even make it to court for their first appearance.

"Even if half do show up, what are you gonna do with the other half?," asked Gov. Walker.  "Those half are gonna be in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa - you name it, all across the country and there's just really big problems with that."

Governor Walker worries those kids would likely be in this country indefinitely.

Those who are not sponsored, would end up in foster care or another licensed long-term child care program, which the state could end up paying the costs on.
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