Meetings with dozens of United States governors were held on Sunday 13th July in Nashville by Sylvia Matthews Burwell, the health and human services secretary. The private meetings were an attempt to get support from the state leaders who will be playing host to thousands of unaccompanied immigrant minors that have crossed the border.
Over 57,000 immigrant minors have crossed into the United States since 1st October last year, with this number expected to rise to 90,000 by the close of 2014. Unsurprisingly Burwell encountered mixed reactions from the different governors she met, with many Republican governors still firmly against any kind of amnesty for undocumented immigrants, particularly in their own states.
The group’s most outspoken critics were Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin; New Jersey governor Chris Christie; and Terry Brandstad, the governor of Iowa. The three governors have often publicly disagreed with the immigration views held by President Obama and believe the plan by his administration to send unaccompanied immigrant minors to stay with family members or friends already in the United States to be a mistake.
John Hickenlooper, the governor of Colorado, says that he wants to help the immigrant minors but to do so economically. “Our citizens already feel burdened by all kinds of challenges,” he noted. “They don’t want to see another burden come into their state. However we deal with the humanitarian aspects of this, we’ve got to do so in the most cost-effective way possible.”