Reynolds says Iowa can’t help border children Biden has ‘put in harm’s way’

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La gobernadora Kim Reynolds habla con los periodistas el 19 de mayo de 2021, mientras el vicegobernador Adam Gregg, a la izquierda, le observa. (Captura de pantalla de la transmisión en directo de la OMS-13)
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By Clark Kauffman, Iowa Capital Dispatch

Gov. Kim Reynolds reiterated her claim Wednesday that President Joe Biden is responsible for a humanitarian crisis on the nation’s southern border, while stating again that Iowa is in no position to accept any of the children “put in harm’s way.”

An estimated 19,000 migrant children unaccompanied by their legal guardians  entered the United States in March — the largest such influx in U.S. history. The previous record was set in May 2019, when 12,000 migrant children crossed into the United States.

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Several weeks ago, Reynolds declined a request by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Iowa to take in some of the immigrant children being held at the border.

“We will not do that,” Reynolds told WHO Radio at the time. “We do not have the facilities. We are not set up to do that. This is not our problem. This is the president’s problem. He’s the one who opened the borders. He needs to be responsible for this and he needs to stop it.”’

Shortly after a Wednesday press conference, Reynolds reiterated her opposition to any of the children being relocated to Iowa.

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“First of all, this crisis at the border needs to be stopped,” she told reporters. “And the president is ultimately responsible for it. He created this crisis. He can end this crisis. I understand the difficulty that these children are being placed in.”

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As for Iowa becoming a sanctuary for some of the children, Reynolds said, “We don’t have the capacity to do that right now.” She said Iowa Department of Human Services Director Kelly Garcia has “laid out exactly why we don’t have the infrastructure or the capacity to house those children right now. But first and foremost, we need to stop it.”

Reynolds said the media should be focused on conditions in the holding areas for children. “As far as I know, I don’t think the media has even been allowed in there,” she said. “As the media — and when we talk about transparency, I would think that would be something you would be extremely upset about, the lack of transparency and how they are handling that situation. So I think that’s some of the questions we need to be asking of this administration and how they’re actually creating and really put these children in harm’s way.”

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On March 30, the Biden administration allowed journalists into the child-migrant facilities along the border. A group of reporters toured overcrowded U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities at a tent city near Donna, Texas.

Since then, the number of children being held in CBP facilities has dropped 88%, from a record high of 5,767 in late March, to 677 in late April.

As of early May, federal officials were holding more than 22,500 unaccompanied children who had recently crossed the border. The number of children in CBP facilities, which are designed for adults, is below 700, but that leaves 22,195 children in facilities run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, where conditions are better suited to the needs of children.

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