DEERFIELD, Wis. -- Gov. Scott Walker said Friday, July 25, he is not entirely opposed to Wisconsin providing temporary shelter for unaccompanied children coming across the Mexican border, but he is concerned they would linger in the U.S. and eventually "drain the entire system."
The city of Madison has proposed two sites to house some of the tens of thousands of children fleeing from gang violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The federal government also has asked officials in the Milwaukee area to do a location search.
Fifty children have already been placed with families in Wisconsin. The federal government is seeking temporary shelter for others until they can be reunited with relatives or family friends or returned to their home countries.
Walker said he has joined other governors in signing a letter expressing concern about the children's safety, border security and the strain on state resources.
"If we're not having a rapid process to get back to the country of origin, they're going to basically blend into whatever community and state and country they're in," Walker told reporters after a campaign stop in Deerfield. "That's going to have costs and drain the entire system."
But the Republican governor said he also hasn't "done a blanket opposition" to the children coming to Wisconsin.
"We've just raised a number of concerns," he said.