Ellison urges state to aid Central American minors

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ST. PAUL — A Minnesota congressman is leading efforts to bring more unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the state.

But, immigration advocates and nonprofit groups that serve refugees are concerned Minnesota might not be able to handle a crush of children who need care and have complex legal issues.

Rep. Keith Ellison says Minnesota is as well equipped as any other state to handle the children. The Democratic congressman has been a leader in the national immigration reform issue.

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At a community meeting Monday in Minneapolis, Ellison said Minnesota has a capacity to help — and should.

Tens of thousands of Central Americans, many unaccompanied minors, fleeing violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have crossed the southern border in recent months. That’s left federal and state government scrambling to find shelter and resources for the children.