The South Carolina Congressional Delegation is right to be upset about being kept in the dark regarding the transfer of illegal immigrant children to sponsor homes in our state.

The delegation's Republican members sent a letter on Monday to the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services requesting more information about the 350 children reportedly sent to the state in recent weeks. That message echoed concerns expressed by Gov. Nikki Haley.

The S.C. federal lawmakers' letter objected that they had not been notified prior to the children's arrival and sought clarification on the policy for informing states of future plans. It asked that they be alerted of new arrivals at least 14 days in advance.

Many of the children being sent to South Carolina and other states have endured grueling journeys as refugees fleeing gang violence and extreme poverty. Their safety must be a priority.

But secrecy regarding the short- and long-term care of these minors leaves them open to a range of potential abuses and creates a toxic situation for state leadership. Clarity could help straighten out many misconceptions about this wave of unaccompanied children and foster a reasonable discussion on resolving the crisis.

President Barack Obama has drawn deserved criticism for failing to effectively address the challenges presented by the movement of more than 50,000 illegal immigrant children, many of them from Central America, across our southern border since last October. He also rates blame for a 2012 executive order ending deportations of minors, that apparently encouraged this massive influx.

But Mr. Obama did meet with the presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras last week, imploring them to do more to help stem that tide.

And though the House rushed Friday to pass emergency border-funding legislation, it fell far short of the $2.7 billion bill the Senate approved on Wednesday. Anyway, the Senate adjourned for the August recess on Thursday.

Congress' failure to meet in the middle on this issue opens the door even wider for an expected presidential order on the border mess.

Clearly, comprehensive immigration reform is long overdue - and has long been thwarted by some hardheads on the right.

But regardless of whether, when and how that legislative goal is met, the young people in the current crisis should be treated humanely.

And a lack of federal transparency on where it's sending those children does them no favors.