Governor Andrew Cuomo says 700 children separated from their parents are being sheltered in New York, but the federal government isn’t giving him any details.
“They're not political pawns that you can hide. These are children, parents, have a fundamental right to the care, custody, and control of their children and that's the basis of my state lawsuit,” Cuomo said.
He sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services asking for the number of children being housed in New York and where they’re being sheltered.
Cuomo said the state certifies and regulates these foster care agencies and has a constitutional responsibility for the health and welfare of these children.
“It is absurd, inhumane, and violative of the HHS Secretary's mission, and I believe oath of office to deprive children who need health services from providing those services,” Cuomo said.
In the letter to HHS, Cuomo said the state’s health department has raised significant concerns about the “traumatic effects and life-altering consequences” that separating children from their parents has. He said it can have negative impacts on the child’s health and well-being throughout their life.
.@SecAzar, New York needs to know: How many immigrant children are being housed in our state? Where are they?— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 21, 2018
The health and safety of these children are at stake, and it is imperative that you provide this information without delay. pic.twitter.com/X7fXZ1jwz1
“Why would you not be willing to tell me where the children are so I can get them help? It is incredible. The HHS Secretary, Health and Human Services, depriving children who they traumatized of getting health and human services. It's a disgrace,” Cuomo said.
The governor criticized President Trump’s zero tolerance immigration plan. He also characterized the president’s executive order keeping families together as a “sham.”
“It fooled many of the press. The headlines that say he reversed himself are inaccurate. He did not reverse himself,” Cuomo said.
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