CHICAGO (AP) Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he’s “deeply concerned” about the welfare of unaccompanied children who’ve crossed the border into the U.S.

The Chicago Democrat’s statement follows federal data released Thursday showing Illinois this year has received 305 unaccompanied children stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The U.S. has been grappling with a surge in children from Central America fleeing violence. Children are placed in government shelters then released to sponsors while they go through deportation proceedings.

Quinn described Illinois as “prepared to help in whatever way necessary to preserve the well-being of these children.”

His Republican rival Bruce Rauner on Friday called the situation “a federal government failure.”

Rauner says the U.S. needs a humane, prompt response that controls the border and ensures children are returned to their homes safely.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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