Debate Over Undocumented Children Divides State Leaders

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa's leaders have varied positions about whether the state should bring in some of the tens of thousands of undocumented children waiting to find out if they can stay in the United States.

Here's what we found from four candidates for office:

David Young, Third District Republican Congressional candidate, Van Meter--"We do have our challenges. But people are still risking life and limb to get to America. But these children need to be reunited with their families and we need to help them get home."

Young wants the U.S. to take care of the children's health needs but believes all should likely get sent back home to be with their families. He doesn't rule out they could achieve legal refugee status and come to Iowa, but doesn't see it as likely.

Staci Appel, Third District Democratic Congressional candidate, Ackworth--"We need to solve the problem at the border. Find out who they are, how they got here and what their status is."

Appel believes the children should remain where they are until authorities figure out their situation. She didn't say whether they could eventually come to Iowa.

Governor Terry Branstad, Republican seeking re-election--"I'm very empathetic for these teenagers and kids. But they've come here illegally. And it would be wrong for us to send a signal, if you come here illegally, we're going to just disperse you through the country and you don't have to come home."

Branstad said don't bring children to Iowa now or later. He wants to deport them.

Jack Hatch, Democratic candidate for governor, Des Moines--"The moral sentiment of Iowans is to let them in. And to allow us through a coalition of how we could best solve that problem for Iowans' sentiments of moral judgement."

Hatch wants a coalition of faith-based and social welfare state agencies to assess the children's future and then leave it up to this group to decide what happens and whether the children come to Iowa.


  • Randy Stafford

    Give every registered democrat a child, with the stipulation that if that child breaks any of the laws of the United States, the parent does the time. Lets see the compassion then.

  • Right Wing Patriot

    Hey TV13…they are called illegal immigrants…..enough of the PC crap of calling these folks undocumented. Sheesh. Obama unleashed this mess by his words. Now it’s been revealed today that the administration knew about this impending problem a year ago. Yet they did nothing. The incompetance is unbelievable.

  • Justice

    Hey, Jack Hatch, Where did you get your info on what Iowans truly want? I am not hearing that at all. I think you are full of something.

  • Mike Cee

    Jack Hatch is certainly eager to spend other peoples’ money. Mr. Hatch, I have yet to hear you explain how you plan to pay for the care and feeding of those kids if they come to Iowa. You and your liberal cronies have dug deep into my pockets, and I’ve had enough.

    It seems that our current Governor, Terry Branstad is the only one who doesn’t have a limp wristed answer to the question. Even David Young, if the story is correct, doesn’t have the backbone to give his view-instead he chooses to qualify his remarks.

    Governor Branstad, thank you for standing up and stating your view. And thank you for knowing that this situation is different than the issues in the 1970’s with the Tai Dam refugees.

  • Dan

    Bring them in, find out where they are from, feed em a meal, give em a shot of penicillon and put them on a waiting bus to take them back.

    • Jess

      I totally disagree with you. Some of us have enough to take care of our own families. the government already takes a huge chunk of my income to pay for welfare recipients. I can’t afford to raise another 50,000 kids on my income. And, if we’re going to take these people in, we better bring all of the civilians from Israel and support them, there is war there….oh….and I think there is fighting in Egypt, better bring all of THOSE civilians here and house, feed, and medicate them….then what about Africa, I’m sure there is fighting there too…….we’ll just go to EVERY country in the world that has fighting and bring ALL the people that don’t want to be involved in the fighting HERE and then we can support them! Gee, every working taxpayer will be supporting HUNDREDS of uneducated, unemployed people. And, while we are doing that, our veterans, who fought for our freedom, as well as those in other countries, can continue to die in the hallways of the VA hospitals because there isn’t enough money to care for them. I think Jesus would tell these other countries they need to stop fighting and take care of one another!

  • William Denison

    If their parents show up lets charge them with neglect and abandonment and deport them. WWJD? I bet he’d slap hell out of the parents for doing this to their kids ya’ll!

    • William Denison

      Mike Cee please stop posting using my name. FYI Terry Branstad took in 122 illegal children from South America earlier this year before it became a issue. I’m sure he now will say he knows nothing about it and it wasn’t done on his watch. Mike Cee you truly are a coward you should cover your tracks better.

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