On April 12, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order to block unaccompanied immigrant children from being placed in South Carolina foster care facilities and group homes. The order incorrectly stated that denying immigrant children entry was necessary because of “requirements imposed” in connection with Michelle H. v McMaster, a federal court matter that, in 2016, led to a landmark settlement requiring dramatic changes to South Carolina’s foster care system.
In response to the Governor’s order, the following statement was issued by Children’s Rights and co-counsel SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center:
“There is nothing in the Michelle H. case or in the court order approving the parties’ settlement agreement that would preclude private providers from housing immigrant children. Instead, the federal court case limits group facilities for foster children to ensure they are safe and have their needs met in family settings. The lawsuit does not contemplate the current question of South Carolina’s willingness or ability to allow unaccompanied immigrant children into the State, and we do not see it as any barrier to doing so.”