Notes on Trump’s war against immigrants
Department of Health and Human Services lost track of another 1,500 immigrant children
21 September 2018
HHS lost track of another 1,500 immigrant children
For the second time this year, the Department of Health and Human Services has notified Congress that it cannot locate about 1,500 children taken into custody by immigration authorities and transferred to the jurisdiction of HHS to provide the needed care. HHS officials told Senate staffers that case managers could not locate 1,488 children when they called placement centers and foster families between April and June. The figure represents 13 percent of all unaccompanied children processed by the federal government during that period.
In April, HHS revealed that it had lost track of 1,475 children in late 2017, in a scenario reminiscent of the current one. These children too were unaccompanied minors placed with foster families or foster care agencies through the United States.
“The fact that HHS, which placed these unaccompanied minors with sponsors, doesn’t know the whereabouts of nearly 1,500 of them is very troubling,” Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, chairman of the Senate committee overseeing HHS, said, stating the obvious. “Many of these kids are vulnerable to trafficking and abuse, and to not take responsibility for their safety is unacceptable.”
An HHS spokesman claimed that most of the children had been placed with family members, and that these adult sponsors had not responded or could not be reached. Left unstated was that many of the “sponsors” are themselves undocumented immigrants, who could have been seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement or have moved to avoid ICE persecution. An ICE official told the committee…