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Inslee announces funding to help separated immigrant children in Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gov. Jay Inslee announced a major infusion of money to help a local immigrant rights group support several separated immigrant children who have made their way into our state.

More than $1 million is being pledged from a grant program and emergency funds authorized by Inslee’s office.

Inslee says there are nine immigrant children who were separated from their families at the border who are somewhere in Washington and who need help accessing legal counsel. The governor wouldn’t say where the kids are being held, saying their right to privacy kept the information from becoming public.

During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Inslee also blasted President Donald Trump’s administration for leaving our state in the dark – and called the president a bully and a liar.

“Should we be confident in an administration that is morally bankrupt, that is a White House that is full of a den of deceit, that lied about what they did to these children, lied about why they did this to these children, lied about who is responsible for what they did to these children, and lied about what it takes to fix it?” said Inslee. “The answer is no, we cannot and should not be confident of the person in the White House who, as of yesterday, was lying about this situation.”

Inslee didn’t miss an opportunity to slam the Trump administration for a crisis that seemed to only be worsening by the day.

Images and stories of families seeking asylum or a new life in America only to have their children taken from them at the boarder shocked many. Inslee also revealed that nine of those kids have made it to our state.

“Everyone knew that this president caused this, he is the central reason for this debacle, he should have fixed it a long time ago and now we know that he gave us lies,” Inslee said.

The governor announced $1.23 million -- most coming via grant by the Legislature, the rest from an emergency fund -- will go to the Northwest Immigrant Rights Group to provide legal aid to those in immigration limbo.

“To get people who are victims of assault, who are seeking protection in our country, the protection they are entitled to (by) law,” said Jorge Baron, of the immigrant rights group.

Another goal for this money, says Inslee, is to reunite the nine children with their families – but officials say they don’t know where they could be. Inslee says their anguish is a direct result of Trump’s administration.

“These suffering, and those tears of those kids are right on his head,” said Inslee. “We need to stand up against this bully. If we stand up against this bully, we can defeat him because he just folded like a cheap suit.”

More than 200 adult border detainees are being held at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac. Officials said about 50 of them have been separated from their children.

Part of the emergency funding is also expected to help people there fight their legal battles to gain refugee or asylum status.