DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says she has rejected a federal request to accept migrant children into the state, saying the need to find homes for them "is the president's problem.”
Reynolds told WHO radio on Tuesday that her priority is the health and safety of Iowans and that the state doesn’t have facilities to house migrant children for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Reynolds’ stand on accepting immigrant children contrasts with her willingness to accept refugees coming into the United States in 2019 when then-President Donald Trump signed an executive order giving states the right to refuse to take refugees. Reynolds was among more than 30 governors who said they would.
Connie Ryan, executive director of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, responded to Reynold's statement:
“Iowans across the state, including many from the faith community, are greatly disappointed in Governor Kim Reynolds’ decision to not open our state and welcome migrant children from our nation’s border."
“Governor Reynolds is following in the footsteps of Governor Terry Branstad and his lack of compassion in 2014 when he also refused to welcome migrant children in need. Governor Reynolds is choosing to deny safe refuge for children, just like her predecessor. It is a decision that runs contrary to Iowa values and our proud history of welcoming immigrants and refugees established by Governor Robert Ray in the 1970’s."
“Interfaith Alliance of Iowa urges Governor Reynolds to reconsider her position and represent Iowa in the welcoming manner for which we were once known. We ask her to open the doors of Iowa and welcome migrant children so that they may be provided safe shelter and compassionate care.”