LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas governor says some unaccompanied minors found at the border are being found in deplorable conditions, even abandoned, after being placed in the state by the federal government.
As of September 30, 2021, federal agents placed 672 unaccompanied minors to sponsors in Arkansas, according to Governor Asa Hutchinson.
The governor says in the last month, seven unaccompanied minors from the border have been taken away from their Arkansas sponsor and placed into state custody.
“Some of the children have been abandoned, and others are living with sponsors in conditions that are deplorable,” says Hutchinson.
State officials say there has been an increased number of calls placed to the child abuse hotline, specifically regarding unaccompanied minors.
“The sponsors are not properly vetted and that in many instances, we are having to take custody of those unaccompanied minors that have been housed with sponsors that are really not properly vetted and qualified and responsible enough,” says Hutchinson.
The governor says the state’s DHS system has the moral and financial responsibility of taking care of the kids.
“So the taxpayer picks up the tab for medical, behavioral health and trauma care, shelter and care costs and the cost of placing the minor in an appropriate setting,” says Hutchinson.
The state says it has started tracking the number of child abuse hotline calls regarding kids placed in Arkansas from the border.
The governor says he is sending a letter to federal leaders to try and address the issue to prevent it from continuing.