Columbia Council Welcomes Illegal Immigrant Kids

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Columbia City Council passed a resolution on Tuesday welcoming illegal immigrant children to the capital city.

"This is more so a statement of purpose, a statement of ideals rather than an action item," said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin.

No one in South Carolina knows much about the 350 kids who have been placed here so far. Previous Coverage:SC Has Received 350 Children Caught at Border

The federal government cites privacy laws as the reason they can't release more details about the illegal immigrant children.

Most of the children are fleeing oppression, and once on American soil, are placed with relatives or family friends.

"What we know now is there are undocumented children coming to South Carolina. They will not tell us where they are. They will not tell us who they are with. They will not tell us the age," said Governor Nikki Haley. "So, we have no information outside of the number of bodies."

States are forced by law to provide both education and heath care to undocumented children that show up.

Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said he believes states should get financial help for children being placed within their borders.

"I don't think it's fair to incentivize people to come here illegally," Graham said.

The resolution passed Columbia City Council really wouldn't address any of those concerns.

Council simply voted on the resolution to let people know where the council stands and encourage congress to find a more permanent immigration solution soon. Councilman Cameron Runyan is the only council member who did not support the resolution.

"I think it would be negligent if we did not take a leadership role in making sure we let people know our position," said Councilwoman Tameika Issac Devine.


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