200 Undocumented Children Living in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb.-- Since October, more than 57,000 undocumented children have been caught crossing the southern border without their parents.

Now, the United States government is trying to figure out how to stop it.

Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) sits on the appropriations committee and Thursday he and other senators heard testimony on president Obama's emergency request for $3.7 billion to address the immigration crisis.

The children are coming primarily from Central America with the idea that if they make it here they can stay.

Senator Johanns learned from a congressional conference call with The Department of Homeland Security that around 200 undocumented children are living in Nebraska with families or sponsors.

Senator Johanns said the Obama administration needs to speed up deportations.

It's unknown exactly when the undocumented children made their way to Nebraska, but Senator Johanns says it's no surprise.

"Because if they can just get in your custody, they're not going to go home," he said.

That's what Senator Johanns believes is the mentality of parents who send their children to the U.S with smugglers known as Coyote's, who make lofty promises.

"Then they rip the families off," said Johanns. "They hit them for $3,000, $5,000, $7,000 dollars. Not small amounts of money for that part of the world."

Johanns says it all stems from a law passed in 2008 which takes an undocumented child through several steps before being deported.

"You have to do an immediate age determination, you have to establish policies and programs to how you're going to care for these unaccompanied minors," said Johanns. "So in order to that you got to do literally assessments of the family, the home, the environment to determine whether they are going to be safely placed."

Johanns says there's no time for this because most of the kids disappear into society.

He says the laws needs to be enforced immediately and that waiting for $3.7 billion won't solve the problem.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services say they do not try to find homes for undocumented children.


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