Gov. Pat Quinn is open to letting more children who have fled Central America stay in Illinois. More than 300 unaccompanied kids from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala that made it to the U.S. border are being housed in facilities in the state, mostly around the Chicago area. Quinn says the state “shouldn’t turn their backs” on the children, but also pointed out that state money is not being used to house them.
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“Anything in this area would be federal funds where the federal government contracts and pays for whatever needs there are,” Quinn said. “It’s still a work in progress, and they’re still deciding what the course will be, and in some cases, whether Congress will provide resources and money to deal with this issue.”
The shelters are only supposed to house these children on a short-term basis. Officials in Chicago are now proposing setting up additional space to house up to 1,000 kids, as well as provide them with free legal aid for deportation proceedings.