Governor Says Estimated Number Of Separated Immigrant Children In New York Grows

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Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, right, talks with Jensen Torres, 4, an immigrant from Honduras, at the Catholic Charities RGV Thursday, June 21, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. Torres' family was processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Tuesday and are waiting to travel to New York. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – Governor Cuomo says there are as many as 700 immigrant children in child care services in New York State, and he’s demanding that state health care professionals have access to them, saying under New York’s constitution, the state is responsible for their welfare.

Cuomo says the estimated number of children is growing as the state contacts foster care agencies in the state. He says the federal Department of Health and Human Services has a gag order on information about the children. But he says the agencies are also certified by the state and need to answer to New York officials.

And Cuomo says the President’s executive order has not stopped the family separations.

“The children arrived last night, the children arrived this morning, nothing has changed that will stop that from happening,” Cuomo said. “I’m saying, in the interim as were going through this federal fiasco, let’s get the children the help they need.”

The governor says he’s “exploring legal options” to press the agencies to allow access to the children, and potentially help reunite them with their parents. He’s written a letter to the federal government, but has received no answer.

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