JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Catholic and Methodist leaders are scheduled to meet Thursday with Gov. Phil Bryant, asking the state to keep sponsoring a program that resettles children with legal refugee status in Mississippi.
Spokeswoman Nicole Webb says the Republican governor has sent a letter declining to accept any new children. She says Bryant fears President Barack Obama will "commandeer" the program to place children without legal status in Mississippi.
Webb says Mississippi would allow the 27 children now enrolled to remain until adulthood. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Jackson runs the program under state sponsorship.
Bryant's fear stems from unaccompanied immigrant children without legal status arrested at the Mexican border. Bryant expressed dismay when more than 200 of those 37,000 children were sent to stay with sponsors in Mississippi.