BATON ROUGE - A political firestorm ignited Thursday when it was revealed more than 1000 unaccompanied minors from Central American countries have made their way to Louisiana and are living with sponsors.
"[The Obama Administration is] trying to hide it; and I have a problem with that..and I think so do the people of Louisiana," State Representative Valarie Hodges of Denham Springs said.
Thursday, Governor Bobby Jindal and other GOP leaders blasted President Barack Obama for what they call a lack of disclosure on the 1,071 children who came illegally into the country and made their way into the state.
More than 30,000 children have entered the U.S. Illegally since the beginning of the year.
According to the federal government, the children come primarily from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Most are over 14 and about three quarters of them are boys. The children are detained at the Mexican border, given vaccinations and a medical screening and placed with sponsors or family members in other parts of the country.
Hodges questions the integrity of the immigrants.
"This is gang related and this is drug cartel that are luring them up here," Hodges said. "I think we should ask these nations to come retrieve their citizens and they should pay for it."
"We have to make sure that Louisianians are safe and our borders are protected but you have some compassion for the children," Democrat State Representative Ted James of Baton Rouge countered.
James blames the issue of the state not knowing about the children making their way to Louisiana on the governor's lack of leadership and not President Obama.
"That happens when you have a governor who is not here," he said. "That happens when you have congressmen who don't communicate with legislatures here on the state level. Hopefully, we can get our republicans and democrats to come together, stop fighting and address the issue because there are children's lives a stake."
Congress left for summer recess with-out dealing with the border crisis. There was legislation up for discussion concerning the unaccompanied kids, but it went nowhere because there were not enough votes.