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Gov. Heineman frustrated with feds over undocumented children in NE

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Gov. Heineman frustrated with feds over undocumented children in NE

By Kimberly Foley. CREATED Jul 16, 2014 - UPDATED: Jul 16, 2014
OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman continues to speak out about the federal government's silence on the border crisis.
 
"What do they have to hide?" asked Heineman when Action 3 News talked to him Wednesday. "Why won't they share it with us?"
 
Heineman made headlines this week when he said the government sent 200 undocumented children to Nebraska, but it refuses to say where they are or who they are with.
 
"If you're sending illegal unaccompanied children to Nebraska, don't we have a right as governor? As a mayor? As citizens?"
 
On Tuesday, Heineman and the Congressional delegation wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell asking for answers.
 
"We would like to know what is happening relative to Nebraska," he said. "We need to know the names of those individuals, who is their sponsor, what's their legal immigration status."
 
On Wednesday, Action 3 News confirmed cases for undocumented children in the U.S. are being prioritized through the court system per request by the Executive Office for Immigration Reform.
 
That means here in Nebraska, the 200 children who are here, won't have to wait long to see a judge.
 
"These juvenile cases will be heard first," said immigration attorney Amy Peck. "They have been prioritized. It still could take a while, but they're at the top of the pile."
 
In D.C., members of Congress are looking for a solution. 
 
On Tuesday, Senator Mike Johanns proposed a bill requiring the government to inform states 48 hours before it transfers undocumented children to a state.
 
In Texas, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) are proposing a bill that would remove the requirement all unaccompanied children, not from Mexico or Canada, get a hearing before deportation.
 
It's something Senator Deb Fischer said she is looking forward to digging in to.
 
"It's a bipartisan proposal with one of (Cornyn's) house members, who is a democrat," said Fischer. "They are truly seeing a heavy impact on the borders that they have."
 
Heineman said he has not received a response from Washington, D.C.
 
As far as Sen. Johanns's legislation, Congress has little time to act before their August recess.