Jun 10, 2014 1:16 AM by Sean Mooney

County warns of charges for Feds for flood of immigrant children

TUCSON- Could the Federal Government face criminal charges over the treatment, of hundreds of children who have entered the United States and Arizona illegally?

Maricopa County Attorney, Bill Montgomery, says yes and today he made that clear to the man who heads up U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement, or "ICE".

Calling the bussing of women and children from Texas to Arizona "appalling" Montgomery sent a warning of possible criminal charges for child abuse to the head of ICE.

In a letter to Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Thomas Winkowski, Montgomery stated:

"Given these possible circumstances during a time of year when the Phoenix metro area experiences temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, any federal official who directly engages in such conduct or who authorizes such conduct may be guilty of a class 4 felony."

While the document may have been a posturing move to try and stem the flow of immigrants, UA Law Professor, Andy Silverman, says the state may have a case, "They have to provide a humane living situation for these unnacompanied minors or even where there are women with minors, it's really ultimately the responsibility of the United States government."

And with so many minors on their own, the nightmare regarding their rights, while in the country illegally, is only part of the challenge for immigration lawyers like Patricia Mejia, "Its really frustrating, it's very difficult because they don't understand", Mejia said, "you need to be taught how to talk to children about legal rights, because you have to draw pictures, you have to do diagrams, so that they understand and you feel comfortable that yes we did everything you could to explain to this child what's going on here today."

County Attorney Bill Montgomery also says that federal officials could also face other violations under the United Nations declaration on human rights.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.

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