Gov. McMaster issues executive order preventing unaccompanied minors at southern border being placed in SC

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– On Monday, Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order that directs the South Carolina Department of Social Services to prevent the federal government from placing unaccompanied migrant minors from the U.S. southern border in South Carolina. The order comes after officials say DSS Director Michael Leach wrote a letter to Governor McMaster, saying the federal government had inquired about sending undocumented minors from the southern border to South Carolina foster care or group homes.

The governor responded to Leach’s letter, saying the state’s already strained system needs to focus on the children in the state. “South Carolina’s children must always be given first priority for placement into foster care and the State’s strained resources must be directed to addressing the needs of its children. Allowing the federal government to place an unlimited number of unaccompanied migrant children into our state’s child welfare system for an unspecified length of time is an unacceptable proposition. We’ve been down this road with the federal government before and the state usually ends up ‘on the hook,’” said Governor McMaster.

Governor’s full letter can be found here.

The governor says the state could incur a long-term financial burden if families are not able to be located and the federal government stops providing direct support for these minors.

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