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More than 500 migrant kids sent to Pennsylvania

| Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 9:54 p.m.

HARRISBURG — More than 500 migrant children among the tens of thousands who have flooded the southern U.S. border are being housed in Pennsylvania, attracting a visit from some members of Congress and at least one Tea Party protest.

The state Department of Public Welfare confirmed on Wednesday that federal officials told them 120 children are in two temporary centers: KidsPeace in Bethlehem and the Bethany Children's Home outside of Reading in Berks County. The other 386 youngsters are staying with “sponsors,” including relatives and religious groups, said spokeswoman Kait Gillis.

More are expected to follow. The Department of Health and Human Services has approved temporary housing grants for at least two other facilities to house the children for roughly one-month stays until they can be reunited with their families.

The Holy Family Institute in Emsworth outside of Pittsburgh, operated by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, expects to take in at least 20 children and possibly as many as 36, said Sister Linda Yankoski, the institute's chief executive officer.

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