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Biden had not asked Noem for help on this issue, Fury said at the time.
Unaccompanied children who cross the border are put in a detention center where they are supposed be housed for no more than 20 days, Islam said. The Office of Refugee Resettlement at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services then finds a sponsor, usually a relative or close family friend, for the child. In some instances, children remain in a group setting.
578 unaccompanied immigrant children were released to sponsors living in South Dakota between October 2014 and April 2021, according to the ORR.
This vetting and matching process is entirely handled by ORR and federal agencies, Islam said. However, nonprofit and state-funded agencies might end up helping the children once they arrive.
“The children from Central America who are legally seeking refuge in South Dakota go to our state-funded schools, get food through state-funded agencies, and play at our state-funded parks and swimming pools. These children also receive services through agencies protecting victims of child abuse and child sexual assault like the state-funded State’s Attorney’s Offices, police departments, and Department of Social Services,” SDVFP said in the release.