Hhs officials say they can’t find 1,500 migrant kids they placed with u.s. sponsors electricity 80s song


Federal officials from Health and Human Services (HHS) say they have no idea what has happened to 1,500 migrant children they placed with U.S. sponsors after they arrived to the border unaccompanied. Yup, you’re reading that correctly. While Trump administration officials and their enablers in the media are clutching their pearls over a White House Correspondents’ Dinner comedy set, the federal government can’t “ determine with certainty” 1,500 vulnerable kids they placed into the hands of sponsors:

The official, Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary of the agency’s Administration for Children and Families, disclosed during testimony before a Senate homeland security subcommittee that the agency had learned of the missing children after placing calls to the people who took responsibility for them when they were released from government custody.

Those sponsors “undergo a detailed background check,” and “workers at the department follow up with calls to ensure that the minors continue to live with the sponsors, are enrolled in school and are aware of their court dates.” But when Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) officials tried to reach 7,635 children during a three-month period last year, they found that not only had some two dozen of the kids run away and another 52 were living with non-sponsors, but that they “were unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children.”

There’s several reasons why Central American unaccompanied minors come to our southern border in the first place. Some kids, orphaned and escaping drug cartels, gang violence and domestic abuse, leave on their own. Others are sent by their parents to escape violence. It’s a choice no parent should be forced to make, but when it’s a life-or-death situation, parents love their kids, and above all they want their kids to live:

Children who show up at the border by themselves are usually apprehended by Border Patrol agents or turn themselves in to customs officers at the Department of Homeland Security. Once they are processed, they are turned over to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services’ refugee office. The office runs more than 100 shelters around the country where it houses children and provides care until they can be turned over to a sponsor while awaiting their immigration hearings.

Now the worry is that some of these kids are being exposed to human trafficking, sexual abuse and other horrors, because it’s already happened before. “ Two years ago the subcommittee released a report detailing how health and human services officials placed eight children with human traffickers who forced the minors to work on an egg farm in Marion, Ohio”:

The report found that department officials had failed to establish procedures to protect the unaccompanied minors, such as conducting sufficient background checks on potential sponsors and following up with sponsors. As a result, the children were turned over to the people who contracted them out to the egg farm.

To prevent similar episodes, the Homeland Security and Health and Human Services Departments signed a memorandum of understanding in 2016, and agreed to establish joint procedures within one year for dealing with unaccompanied migrant children.

Additionally , “several immigration advocates who work with unaccompanied children said the department did little follow-up. Allison E. Herre, a lawyer with Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio, said she had seen sponsors who forced the children to work instead of attending school and who failed to ensure that the children attended their court proceedings.”

And agency officials said they have “a limited budget to track the welfare of vulnerable unaccompanied minors.” Weird, because other agencies seem to have plenty of cash to build fancy soundproof booths and buy a $31,000 dining set. Why aren’t heads rolling for this? How is this not child negligence? “You are the worst foster parents in the world. You don’t even know where they are,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). “We are failing. I don’t think there is any doubt about it. And when we fail kids that makes me angry.”