WESTMINSTER, Md. — As news spread this weekend that undocumented immigrant children might soon live in a former military facility in this town, graffiti appeared on the one-story brick building: “No illeagles here. No undocumented Democrats.”
Aside from the misspelling — which prompted some snickering about sick birds of prey as a photo circulated on Facebook on Sunday — the scrawled message was a manifestation of the bitter national debate over how the government should treat these undocumented children.
Tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children have arrived on the southwest border since October. Under current law, those children must be turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours. They are then placed with relatives living in the United States or put in temporary housing while their cases are processed through the immigration court system — which can take years.