Detention centers on the U.S.-Mexico border are so overwhelmed by the recent surge of unaccompanied children illegally crossing over to America, officials have run out of places to put them.
Sen. Mark Kirk said today that 429 unaccompanied minors are here in Chicago. He says wants background checks done on them.
Minors from countries like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are crossing the US border from Mexico in record numbers. 57,000 have been reported so far this year.
There is so much overcrowding that now hundreds of them are in Chicago, most to be reunited with family members across the country.
Until then the children are in the custody of the U.S. Health and Human Services Deptartment. Kirk wants background checks performed on all the children to find out if any of them has a criminal record.
"If any of these individuals has a criminal record in their home country, our government owes it to the American people to facilitate a sharing of records and reassure our nation that these individuals pose no threat," Kirk said in a statement.
Kirk has sent letters to the embassies of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador asking for this background information. The children are being housed in secret locations so as not to incite an already delicate situation.