"The state should have been notified," Senator Donnelly responds - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

"The state should have been notified," Senator Donnelly responds to administration's placement of undocumented children in Indiana

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    Senator Joe Donnelly calls for increased sanctions against Russia

    U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly spoke with FOX28 about a wide range of topics Wednesday afternoon. Among them was the conflict in Ukraine. We asked Donnelly if President Obama is doing enough in reaction to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "I would actually like to see sanctions increased because Vladimir Putin is a former KGB agent, and what he understands is force."More >>
    U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly spoke with FOX28 about a wide range of topics Wednesday afternoon. Among them was the conflict in Ukraine. We asked Donnelly if President Obama is doing enough in reaction to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "I would actually like to see sanctions increased because Vladimir Putin is a former KGB agent, and what he understands is force."More >>
Indiana U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly says the crisis on the southern border needs to be addressed quickly.  During a conversation with FOX28 Wednesday, Donnelly said he expected his colleagues in the Senate to pass an emergency bill.  "What the bills that were there today would help us do is process them a little bit faster,"  he said.  "What I'm trying to do is to process these individuals as quickly as possible and then send them to their home countries because they're here in a way that's not legal for many of them.  If you're not here legally you should go back home to your home country."

Discussion of the bill in the House did not go smoothly Wednesday.  We asked Senator Donnelly if members of the House should go on recess before they pass an emergency bill.  "Absolutely not," Donnelly responded. "I will be here any time we have the opportunity to make sure that we can move this bill forward."

Senator Donnelly also reacted to a letter Governor Mike Pence sent to President Obama about the border crisis.  In his letter, Pence asked that the 200 immigrant children placed in Indiana "be returned expeditiously to their home countries to be reunited with their families."

Donnelly said he agrees with what Pence wrote.  "The state should have been notified before those young people were brought into our state.  We have a right to know," he said.  "These young people are coming here because they've been told back in their home countries... they've basically been threatened by gangs that they'll be killed, or if they're not going to join the gang that they can then pay money and they'll get them into America.  That's what they're being told."

FOX28 spoke with immigration advocates at La Casa de Amistad Tuesday who denounced Pence's letter.  Executive Director Sam Centellas said sending the undocumented minors back won't stop Central American parents from sending children to the U.S.   He says if returned home, the children will wind up making the dangerous journey to cross the border alone a second time.

We asked Senator Donnelly how he would respond to groups critical of Pence's letter.  "I would say to them that we have a process.  We have a process where you can come to this country legally."

Senator Donnelly said there's an obligation to protect the borders and the nation.

"The whole world wants to come here, we have to have a system and we have to have a border or else you're not a nation," he says.  "What we're trying to do is in the most humane way possible, process these young people who are coming because they believe  that they can get into the United States, that's what they've been told."

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