58 "unaccompanied" immigrant children placed in Norfolk


Credit: Getty Images

MISSION, TX - JULY 24: A mother and child, 3, from El Salvador await transport by the U.S. Border Patrol to a processing center for undocumented immigrants after they crossed the Rio Grande into the United States on July 24, 2014 in Mission, Texas. Tens of thousands of immigrant families and unaccompanied minors have crossed illegally into the United States this year and presented themselves to federal agents, causing a humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


by Lucy Bustamante, 13News Now


Posted on September 2, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 2 at 4:07 PM

NORFOLK-  58 "unaccompanied children" who crossed the U.S. border between January 1st and July 31st have been released to sponsor families in the city of Norfolk, according to figures recently released by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (part of the Department of Health and Human Services).  The report shows 126 counties nationwide where more than 50 children have been released.

School districts across Virginia were told in August to prepare for the potential arrival of children who were part of the wave of undocumented kids who who came across the southern border of the United States.

Norfolk City School spokesperson Elizabeth Mather tells 13News Now "It likely will take some time before NPS and other school divisions are able to determine how many students who have enrolled in NPS are in this category."

It may be difficult to track exactly how many of these students are part of the federal refugee resettlement program.

Charles Pyle, spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Education, says "school divisions are not allowed to ask about a student’s immigration status."

Overall, 2,856 children have been released to sponsor families in Virginia.

"Sponsors are adults who are suitable to provide for the child’s physical and mental well-being and have not engaged in any activity that would indicate a potential risk to the child. All sponsors must pass a background check. The sponsor must agree to ensure the child’s presence at all future immigration proceedings. They also must agree to ensure the minor reports to ICE for removal from the United States if an immigration judge issues a removal order or voluntary departure order.", according to a release from the O.R.R.