Immigrant children continue to be caught in the middle of the crisis.
The federal government may well be “in over its head” when it comes to actually keeping track of immigrants. A United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) official recently admitted his agency lost track of 1,475 immigrant children. Many of the immigrant children had been taken from their parents at the border.
Immigrant Children Placed With Sponsors
Even though HHS itself placed the children with sponsors, the department did not know where they were, Steven Wagner admitted at a U.S. Senate hearing in April. Children from Central America were among 7,635 kids that illegally crossed the U.S. Mexico border, The Washington Post reported. Wagner is just one HHS official who was supposed to be keeping track of the kids.
The HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement was unable to find around one out of seven of the children it had placed with sponsors. The sponsors are all foster families chosen by the HHS.
The Worst Foster Parents in the World
“You are the worst foster parents in the world,” U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) said of HHS. “You don’t even know where they are. We are failing. I don’t think there is any doubt about it. And when we fail kids that makes me angry.”But sadly, the kids the government does keep track of might be in worse trouble than those it cannot find.
The Associated Press (AP) has reported that at least two dozen immigrant children had either been sexually assaulted by their HHS chosen sponsors or forced into what amounts to be heavy child labor, The AP also found that the HHS was not performing background checks on many of the sponsors and not visiting their homes to check on the kids once the Feds placed the kids.
Gang Violence Creating Some Of The Chaos
Large numbers of children and teenagers from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras have been crossing into the US because of gang violence in those countries. Many of the children are traveling alone, trying to reach their parents who are working illegally in the United States.
The Federal Government Cannot Keep Track of Immigrants
Skeptics wonder how the federal government is supposed to keep track of adult immigrants. If the Feds cannot even locate the “processed” immigrant children it has already placed in foster homes. The current findings suggest that keeping our borders genuinely secure may be a much bigger task than previously thought.
A government that cannot keep track of immigrant children already processed and “in the books’ is quite obviously going to struggle with keeping track of adult illegal immigrants, terrorists, or even visitors infected with dangerous and contagious diseases.
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