WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Kirk said today that 429 unaccompanied minors from the Mexican border crisis are in Chicago in the custody of a federal agency, and he wants to know if any of the children have criminal records.
Kirk, an Illinois Republican, said the children are in the custody of the Health and Human Services Department. His news release did not say where the children are being housed.
In the release, Kirk also said the State Department is “unable to confirm if any of these individuals has a criminal record or background.”
He added: “If any of these individuals has a criminal record in their home country, our government owes it to the American people to facilitate the sharing of records and reassure our nation that these individuals pose no threat.”
Kirk has written to the U.S. ambassadors in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador asking whether their embassies have done background checks on the “unaccompanied alien children” who have entered the U.S. at its southern border.
He said 57,000 unaccompanied children from Central American countries have crossed the border since October.
Kirk, in his letter to the ambassadors, said the humanitarian crisis has the potential to pose a “serious threat to our country and communities” if the children have criminal records.
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