Government Loses Contact with Third of Migrant Children

A big gap exists in efforts to help them.

Thousands of migrant children released from the custody of the U.S. government cannot be located. Roughly one in three calls made to released migrant children or their sponsors between January and May went unanswered, raising questions about the ability of the government to protect them after their release to family members or others in the U.S. HHS’s Administration for Children and Families oversees the care and custody of migrant minors.

An HHS spokesperson said, “While we make every effort to voluntarily check on children after we unite them with parents or sponsors and offer certain post-unification services, we no longer have legal oversight once they leave our custody.”

During the first five months of the year, care providers made 14,600 required calls to check with migrant minors released from shelters run by the Department of Health and Human Services. In Nearly 5,000 of those instances, workers were unable to reach either the migrant or the sponsor.

More than 65,000 unaccompanied minors crossed the border during those months, and July set yet another all-time record for young border crossers. The issue of losing track of released children may become worse in the foreseeable future. The government is investigating whether dozens of migrant children were released to labor traffickers.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For HHS officials following guidance by the agency to follow up on whether or not the child is still residing with the sponsor and is safe.
  • For better oversight to ensure children are safe after leaving the care of the government.
  • For government agents seeking to stop human traffickers.

Sources: Axios, Bloomberg Law


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