Family Separation

Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times via USA TODAY NETWORK

70 Immigrant Children Separated From Families At Border Housed In Westchester

June 20, 2018 - 9:14 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Several immigrant children stripped from their families at the southern border are being housed temporarily in Westchester County.

There are 70 children being cared for in New York state, with some in facilities at Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Yonkers and Somers.

Keeping children from their parents is immoral, says Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"We also believe that this practice is illegal," Cuomo said Tuesday, announcing several state agencies will sue the federal government to stop the separations. "I believe personally that the act is inhumane, it's extortive, it's un-American. Ironically it's opposed to the family values that the Republican Party has always espoused."

The governor says the state has reached out to offer support and mental health services for the children but the host agencies have denied access. Cuomo said the host agencies are under a gag order and all requests to gain access to the children have to go through the federal government. The governor said that process could take weeks.

"Why the federal government would want to be in a position to stop a state from offering mental health services, support services for young children suffering trauma just adds further insult to further injury," Cuomo said.

The Westchester County Executive is also launching his own fact-finding mission.