The arrival of five immigrant children in Alaska momentarily pushed the Last Frontier into the national debate over what should be done about children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone.
Breitbart News, a conservative publication, on Friday highlighted data from a Department of Health and Human Services report showing that five minors who entered the U.S. illegally and without supervision of a parent or guardian were assigned to sponsors in Alaska.
While it is not immediately clear where the children came from or if they were taken into the custody of the State of Alaska foster care system, the policy is for unaccompanied immigrant children apprehended by authorities to be held in federally-operated shelters or released to a "sponsor" while their case plays out in the court system.
There are 30,340 children assigned to sponsors nationally, according to HHS data, meaning 0.016 percent of sponsors are in Alaska.
But Breitbart focused on the far North.
"The trip from McAllen, Texas -- where the current border crisis is occurring -- to Anchorage, Alaska is a nine and a half hour flight," Kristin Tate wrote. "This is almost double the time it would take to fly the migrants back to their home countries in Central America."
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, a Republican, turned to Facebook and Twitter to call the reports “alarming” and to say his administration is making contact with federal authorities to figure out what is happening.
Parnell spokesperson Sharon Leighow elaborated: "White House staff indicated governors would be notified before any large group of immigrants would be sent their state," she wrote. "Our office has received no such notification from any federal agency."
Leighow said the governor contacted HHS and the Alaska Congressional Delegation to track down further details.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told KTUU she was made aware of immigrant children coming to Alaska earlier in the week, but she is unsure whether they are part of the HHS program that deals with refugee resettlement.
The Alaska director of Catholic Social Services, which often provides services to refugees, said its staffers were not told of an influx of immigrants coming to Alaska and that it is unlikely there will be a noticeable surge.
"I unfortunately think statements like that can be misused," said Susan Bomalaski, CSS director, referring to Parnell's social media posts. "I don't know what the motivation there was, but there are people in the community that are concerned about that and actually have thought that great numbers of these children would be coming to Alaska.
"But that won't happen."
Channel 2's Samantha Angaiak contributed to this report