SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The federal government has resumed checking the fingerprints of people other than parents who step forward to care for migrant children detained at the border amid concern by immigrant advocates that skipping the screening could put children at risk.
Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for the Administration for Children and Families, said late Wednesday that the agency overseeing the shelter program for migrant children has gone back to a previous policy of only exempting parents and legal guardians from having their fingerprints taken. He said no child was harmed by the more lax fingerprint policy.
The number of Central American children apprehended at the border with Mexico has surged in recent weeks and could reach 90,000 this year. To speed children through shelters and free up bed space, officials had stopped running fingerprint checks against criminal databases for parents and other sponsors who offered to care for them, immigrant advocates said.
Until last year, advocates said officials had checked the fingerprints of all sponsors, including parents.
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