South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Monday issued an executive order prohibiting the children of unaccompanied immigrants from being placed in foster homes and group care homes in South Carolina.
The move responded to inquiries from President Joe Biden’s administration, according to the executive order. The US Department of Health and Human Services reportedly asked SC’s Department of Human Services if it had resources to place migrant children.
According to McMaster’s executive order, the DSS found that caring for a number of migrant children would potentially stretch the department’s resources and the state’s ability to make foster placements.
Bearing these concerns in mind, McMaster ordered the DSS to “take all necessary and appropriate steps” to prevent migrant children from being placed in state group care and reception facilities.
State-licensed establishments that do not comply with the order could face remedial action or revocation of their license, according to the decree.
McMaster’s order comes as Republicans continue to criticize the Biden administration’s response to undocumented immigration along the southern border. Specifically, Republicans criticized the administrations’ lack of progress in removing migrant children from detention centers, a promise Biden made during the election campaign.
The governor traveled to Texas over the weekend to visit South Carolina National Guard soldiers working along the border.
The Biden administration has opened 11 new facilities to house migrant children and get them out of border patrol facilities in the past month. These facilities cost millions of dollars per week to operate.
In March, Customs and Border Patrol reported 18,890 unaccompanied children in their custody.
This story will be updated.