CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he's "deeply concerned" about the welfare of unaccompanied children who've crossed the border into the United States.
The Chicago Democrat's statement follows federal data released Thursday showing Illinois this year has received 305 unaccompanied children stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The U.S. has been grappling with a surge in the number of children arriving on the border from Central America fleeing violence. Children are placed in government shelters and then released to sponsors while they go through deportation proceedings.
Quinn met with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell last week in Washington. He says "leaders of conscience must cooperate to protect the vulnerable" and described Illinois as "prepared to help in whatever way necessary to preserve the well-being of these children."