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Advocates Challenge Governor Over Immigrant Children


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Advocates Challenge Governor Over Immigrant Children

By Josh Egbert. CREATED Jul 18, 2014

Lincoln, NE- There were some harsh words at the capitol Friday morning aimed at Governor Dave Heineman over comments he made on immigrant children now living in Nebraska. A group of advocates slammed the Governor for his stance on some 200 illegal immigrant children housed in Nebraska.

"How can a nation founded on 'one nation under God with liberty and justice for all' turn their back on these children and not be willing to give them asylum?" asked Marta Nieves.

Nieves was one of a dozen advocates that took to the Capitol Rotunda asking Governor Heineman to show compassion to hundreds of unaccompanied, undocumented immigrant children now in Nebraska.

"These children can be housed in Nebraska safely, comfortably, and I know in our communities." said south Omaha advocate Ben Salazar.

Salazar and others are challenging Heineman and his claim that the federal government failed to inform him about these children's identified and locations.

"We need to know the names of those individuals, who's their sponsor, what's their legal immigration status because we're going to have challenges." said Gov. Heineman earlier this week.

The Governor said he needs to make sure the children aren't receiving state government benefits and to help schools be prepared.

"I question why the Governor and our representatives believe they have the right to know who the children are, with who they have been placed, where they are at and if their sponsor has legal status." said Yolanda Chavez Nuncio of Grand Island.

Lincoln immigration attorney Shirl Mora-James says federal law allows the children privacy, including where they are and who they're with.

"Unless the Governor wants to take in children, he needs to keep his nose out of their privacy." said Mora-James.