NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell has met privately with dozens of governors today, trying to rally support from the states that will host thousands of immigrant children from Central America.
Governors of both parties attending the National Governors Association meeting in Nashville expressed concerns about the costs to the states, according to people who were there.
Burwell left the meeting without talking to reporters.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, says already burdened citizens "don't want to see another burden come into their state." He says the humanitarian aspects of the border crisis must be dealt with "in the most cost-effective way possible."
Republican Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey and Terry Branstad of Iowa criticized the administration's plans to place the children with friends or family members without checking on their immigration status.
Under current law, immigrant children who enter the United States by themselves from countries that don't border the U.S. are turned over to HHS. They often are placed with relatives already living in the country while they wait for an immigration court to decide their future. The court process can take years.