State officials receive notification pf placement of unaccompanied minors
August 07. 2014 9:42AM
State officials have learned that, since the beginning of this year, 21 unaccompanied immigrant minors have been placed in South Dakota by federal officials.
This is the first indication from federal officials that any unaccompanied minors had been placed in South Dakota. As a result of continued questions by state officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a census by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). An updated count is expected in early August.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard expressed concern over the news.
“It is disappointing that, despite assurances from federal officials, these children have been placed in South Dakota without notification to the state,” said the Governor. “Although federal officials indicate that these 21 children have been screened and vaccinated, we will be asking for more information so that the state can be sure that these children pose no risk to South Dakotans.”
None of the 21 unaccompanied minors have been placed in South Dakota’s foster care system, or with South Dakota’s non-profit refugee agencies. According to HHS, 90 percent of unaccompanied children who come to the United States are placed with a family member or friend from their home country. State officials believe that to be the case for these 21 children, although that has not been confirmed by the federal government.