(KMOV.com) -- Governor Pat Quinn drew criticism when he said Illinois should help in “whatever way necessary” to assist the unaccompanied children caught at the US border. News 4 asked Missouri Governor Jay Nixon where he stands on the issue creating a firestorm of protests around the country.
Demonstrations in Boston and southern California have occurred protesting efforts made to give illegal immigrants temporary shelter.
Recently, numbers show that Illinois has taken in 305 unaccompanied children caught at the US border while Missouri has taken in 121.
Nixon said the private sector has been handling the children in Missouri.
“Most of the kids have been properly moved through private foster adoption agencies,” Nixon said, “and that’s the way these things should operate.”
More than 57,000 unaccompanied children have arrived at the US border since October, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Protesters have argued that immigration issues strain resources that should be used to care for US citizens.
Nixon said so far the children brought to Missouri have used a minimal amount of Missouri tax dollars.
“Of the ones that have come in this last batch, I think one of them now, the foster match didn’t work that well and we’re assisting there to get to the next step,” he said, “but the goal here is private adoption, private sector process and there are certainly circumstances inside this but we’re not bringing a bunch of kids to Missouri and holding them and then passing them out for adoption.”
But the surge of children has overwhelmed the government leading it to open temporary shelters at military bases in Texas, California and Oklahoma. And it is continuing to search nationwide for new shelters to hold the children until they are released to sponsors.