MAKING IT WORSE: Refugee Resettlement Group Responds to Governor Reynolds’ and Senator Grassley’s Joint Press Statement On Secret Unaccompanied Minor Flights to Iowa


There’s a lot more to this story and plenty of blame to go around

Iowa City, Iowa – Iowa City Catholic Workers have sponsored multiple families and unaccompanied minors out of border detention this year and helped activists document the secret April 22 flight of children to Iowa soon after it arrived at the Des Moines airport.

Catholic Worker Dr. Emily Sinnwell, a bilingual nurse practitioner,  released the following statement on behalf of the faith community in response to the governor’s announcement today:


The unaccompanied minors we know who were recently reunited with family in Iowa came one at a time on commercial flights and were picked up at the airport by their sponsor. These secret flights of dozens of children put on buses don’t fit the bill for a fast reunification with family.

“It is more likely they were flown here by private military contractors to ease overcrowded conditions at the border and then held at a secret location somewhere in the Midwest for weeks or months before reunification with their family was complete.

There’s no question the sponsorship process for families is too complicated and takes too long. Families should not have to jump through hoops to free their children. But Governor Reynolds and Senator Grassley’s refusal to help and be part of the solution is only making things worse. They blame everyone but themselves when they should take personal responsibility for helping unaccompanied minors reunite with their loved ones in Iowa.”


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