More unaccompanied minors being brought to live with sponsors in - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

More unaccompanied minors being brought to live with sponsors in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

More undocumented children have been brought to South Carolina by federal authorities but one immigration lawyer says this process isn't new and has been happening long before the current border crisis.

The number of undocumented children in the Palmetto State brought from the US border has risen from 350 to 434 in the last month.

From the beginning of the border crisis where thousands of children have fled from violence in their home countries, South Carolina's role in it has been hard to follow.

Tammy Besherse, an immigration lawyer with the SC Immigration Coalition said it's important to separate fact from fiction.

Besherse said these children are not being housed in shelters but rather placed with sponsors or family members.

"Normally, the sponsor's a family relative," Besherse said.

Earlier this month, the Columbia City Council passed a resolution to welcome the children but Besherse says no city, county, or state government official knows or will know where these children are located. Only federal officials have that information.

"If you're not here illegally, the only thing you can access is K-12 education, and receive healthcare, it doesn't mean it's free," Besherse said.

Each child will stay here at least until a court date to make a case for asylum

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

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