HHS official calls BS on reports of 'lost' immigrant kids
HHS official calls BS on reports of 'lost' immigrant kids
01 June, 2018, 11:13
"Some 1,500 immigrant children unaccounted for, federal official says", Fox Newsreported in its own recent headline.
Those stories and others were based on remarks made by Health and Human Services Acting Assistant Secretary Steven Wagner in a Senate hearing on April 26 before a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee. At a congressional committee last month, however, it was determined that the government was "unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475" minors after attempting to contact their sponsors in the last three months of 2017. Tracking them down could end up endangering morechildren and families. From these calls, ORR learned that 6,075 UAC remained with their sponsors. The 7,635 well-being calls found that 52 children were living in the care of someone else, eight had run away and five had been deported. So when they have a sponsor, we release them to a sponsor.
That's more than 19% of the children that were placed by the ORR.
So, did the federal government lose track of almost 1,500 unaccompanied immigrant minors?
"When an unaccompanied alien child is placed with a sponsor, he or she ceases to be in the custody of the U.S. government and all HHS-provided subsistence - food, shelter, clothing, healthcare and education - ends at that point and the child becomes the responsibility of his or her parent, guardian or sponsor", the statement added. He said this is not the case, however, and could just be an instance of a missed call. "Therefore, they're not lost", Mr. Hargan said on "The Hugh Hewitt Show".
"These children are not "lost"; their sponsors-who are usually parents or family members and in all cases have been vetted for criminality and ability to provide for them-simply did not respond or could not be reached when this voluntary call was made", he explained.
"This is the core of this issue: In many cases, HHS has been put in the position of placing illegal aliens with the individuals who helped arrange for them to enter the country illegally", he said.
But Halsey, along with many others, was put off by the post and its poor timing in light of the recently enacted "zero tolerance" policy, which allows border security agents to take away the children of people who entered the US illegally.
The fact sheet also said the only solution to the problem was to "change federal law so that illegal immigrants can be returned after they are apprehended".
Whatever the reason for being unable to reach these sponsors, the federal government acknowledges it can not verify the location of these immigrant minors.
"President Trump's administration has been calling on Congress to put an end to risky loopholes in United States immigration laws like the practice of 'catch and release, ' in which federal authorities release illegal immigrants to await hearings for which few show up", Hargan said.
The office is "taking a fresh look at that question", he added. But where was their concern in 2014, when Glenn and MercuryOne were highly criticized for bringing truckloads of food, water, and aid to refugee children at the border?
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