Officials: More than 2,000 unaccompanied children who illegally crossed border are living on Long Island

Officials say Long Island has received more than 2,000 unaccompanied children who illegally crossed the border into the United States. The Office of Refugee Resettlement

Hempstead School Board President Lamont Johnson says the

Hempstead School Board President Lamont Johnson says the district wasn't prepared for the influx of children and it has left classrooms packed with 50 students and standing room only. (Credit: News 12)

WOODBURY - Officials say Long Island has received more than 2,000 unaccompanied children who illegally crossed the border into the United States.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement released a list that shows which counties across the United States are currently housing the children. Long Island ranks within the top five, with almost 1,200 living in Suffolk and nearly 1,100 in Nassau.

Patrick Young, program director of the Central American Refugee Center, says it makes sense that they would be placed here.

"Long Island has the fifth largest Central American community in the U.S.,” says Young. “These are children who are fleeing, typically from gang violence, and coming to be reunited with a parent or an older brother or sister."

As News 12 has reported, plans to use a Commack church and an old Bethpage warehouse as temporary shelters for the children caused a tremendous amount of controversy in the communities and never ended up happening.

Officials say the children are being placed in the care of family members who have gone through extensive background checks.

Young says the children were vetted for criminal and medical history before being brought to Long Island. He says they must meet with immigration officials within one month of arriving, adding that just because they are here now, doesn’t mean they'll be allowed to stay.

 

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

2 people were killed and 1 man is 1 2 killed, 1 in stable condition after Gabreski Airport plane crash
Construction on the LIRR's Double Track Project 2 Parking to be limited at LIRR Wyandanch station today
A car with its back window completely smashed 3 Report: Police investigate possible shooting in Holtsville-Patchogue area
According to police, Edicson Cartagena threw a brick 4 Man accused of spitting, punching arresting officer in Uniondale
Fred Berger, producer of 5 'Moonlight' wins best picture at botched Academy Awards

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

The church's pastor, the Rev. Dennis Walker told Commack church may house undocumented immigrant kids

The Lutheran Social Services of New York is proposing Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Commack

Authorities have arrested more than 52,000 immigrant children LI building eyed to house immigrant children

News 12 has confirmed the Department of Health and Human Services is considering using the

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE