Thursday, July 17, 2014
By RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Gov. Mary Fallin harshly criticized the Obama administration's immigration policies on Wednesday and said she fears the recent influx of unaccompanied minors from Latin America will become a financial burden to the states.
"Many of our public schools are already at capacity and need additional funding," Fallin said. "Our health-care system is strained as it is. Now, instead of allowing us to address those needs for Oklahomans, President Obama is forcing us to add an unspecified number of illegal immigrants to our public education and public health systems.
"The president is ignoring the very real needs of Oklahomans - and Americans everywhere - so that he can continue a policy of amnesty for families that want to send their children to the United States. Ultimately, it's American taxpayers who are picking up the tab."
Fallin's broadside came one day after state Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, called for the 1,200 minors housed at Fort Still to be "quarantined" because of supposed health issues.
Federal officials, however, say the juveniles are given at least two medical examinations, including tests for communicable diseases, as well as vaccinations upon arrival in the U.S.
Last week, staff at the Fort Sill facility said juveniles stay an average of 15 days before going to a sponsor.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services says it has been told few if any of the minors will wind up in Oklahoma and any that do will be the responsibility of their sponsors.
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