Republican Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina decided to take executive action in order to prevent the Biden administration from placing unaccompanied immigrant children from the southern border to his state.
In his executive action, the governor cited COVID-19 concerns and limited resources as his basis for the order. He signed it on Monday, as per The Post and Courier of Charleston.
McMaster’s order gave South Carolina’s Department of Social Services directions on preventing the placement of unaccompanied migrant minors who enter the US through the southern border and into “residential group care” or “other foster care” facilities in the state.
McMaster Says They Should Prioritize SC Children
McMaster wrote a letter addressed to DSS Director Michael Leach. In it, he wrote that the children of the state need to be given priority for placement into foster care. He also added that the state’s “strained resources” should go address “the needs of its children.”
The governor’s action comes in response to a letter from Leach. In it, the DSS Director writes that the federal government was considering placing the unaccompanied minors in the state.
In the letter, Leach said waiting for placement goes on for 35 days but it could go longer if they find it hard to locate relatives.
Currently, facilities housing unaccompanied migrant children at the southern border are over capacity.
Nearly 19,000 minors crossed the borders alone in March. This is 71% higher than the figure in February. It is also being largely attributed to the Biden administration deciding to undo Trump-era policies.
The South Carolina governor doesn’t want to face the burden of having unaccompanied children enter the state, partly due to recent allegations of abuse in some facilities surfacing.
Some critics may go after McMaster for the seeming lack of compassion. However, pressure coming from states are needed to end the southern border crisis.
The current administration has the ability to stop the influx of immigrants if it reinstates the Migrant Protection Protocols and continued the border wall construction.
While the two measures are not perfect, Biden’s seeming leniency on immigration causes more people to come.