HHS official offers new explanation for missing immigrant children

HHS official offers new explanation for missing immigrant children

HHS official offers new explanation for missing immigrant children

"It was never meant to be a foster care system with more than 10,000 children in custody at an immediate cost to the federal taxpayer of over one billion dollars per year", the fact sheet said. "Unaccompanied alien children", or UACs, as the government officially describes them, are often placed with family members already living in the U.S. The US government has lost track of 1,475 undocumented immigrant children; an official admitted as much during a Senate committee hearing last month.

Some liberal activists incorrectly tweeted photos of young-looking immigrants at the U.S. -Mexico border in steel cages and blamed the current administration's policy of separating children from their parents. In a survey of 7,635 children ORR had placed with adult sponsors, contacted by the agency between October and December of past year, 6,075 were still living with their sponsors, 28 had run away, five had been deported, and 52 were living with someone else.

The office is "exploring the question of ORR's responsibilities ... and whether the level of responsibility would differ depending on the child's relationship to his or her sponsor", the report said. "I wonder what #SundayMorning is like for the parents of 1500 lost children your father is responsible for".

That's more than 19% of the children that were placed by the ORR.

The photos were taken by The Associated Press in 2014, when President Barack Obama was in office.

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"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. But if the ORR were to be legally responsible for the well-being of unaccompanied immigrant children, it would need a significant increase in resources.

"We don't want to separate families, but we don't want families to enter the border illegally", he said while speaking at Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies' 2018 spring conference.

The ORR has a series of evaluations to determine if a sponsor is suitable to provide and care for a child. ORR just has simply been unable to reach the sponsors in a follow-up call 30 days after placing the children with the sponsor, he said.

Wagner's statement has received increased scrutiny a month after the Department of Homeland Security defended an agency policy that will result in more families being separated at the border.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said people caught smuggling a child into the country will be prosecuted "and that child will be separated from you as required by law", according to Inside Edition.

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