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Migrant Minors Dispute Pits Florida Against Catholic Church

The facilities at risk of losing their licenses are part of a federally funded program for minors who typically arrive in the U.S.-Mexico border without their parents and reunite them with relatives already in the country.

Children have to seek counsel on their own but get to present their cases before an immigration judge, who decides if they qualify for legal relief. A Congressional Research Service report from last September noted that many factors lead children to migrate, including lack of employment, presence of gangs, corruption as well as tropical storms and food insecurity.

DeSantis issued the order saying it wanted no involvement in a federal program that encourages smuggling of minors without their parents.

During the George W. Bush administration, Congress transferred the care and custody of migrant children away from immigration authorities to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which manages a network of shelters mostly run by nonprofits to provide less restrictive settings for children.

This article originally appeared on APNews.com.