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Haslam Sends Letter to Obama Regarding Child Immigrants

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee has received about 2.5 percent of the unaccompanied children crossing into the United States. Gov. Bill Haslam released a public letter Friday to President Barack Obama in which he takes issue with the development.

"It is unacceptable that we became aware via a posting on the HHS website that 760 unaccompanied children have been released by the Office of Refugee Resettlement to sponsors in Tennessee without my administration's knowledge," he writes. "Not only was our state not informed prior to any of the children being brought here, I still have not been contacted and have no information about these individuals or their sponsors other than what was posted on the HHS (Health and Human Services) website and subsequently reported by media."

New federal data published Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families showed Tennessee received 760 of the more than 30,000 children who have been released to sponsors this year through July 7.

Texas, New York, Florida and California received the most, accounting for 46 percent of the children received during that time.

Unaccompanied children have been fleeing violence in Central America and crossing into the U.S. because they believe they will be allowed to stay.

Children are placed in government shelters and then released to sponsors while they go through deportation proceedings. In many cases, the sponsors are the children's parents, other relatives or a family friend.

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