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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    U.S. Doesn’t Track Unaccompanied Minors. 4 Agencies Say: Not Our Problem

    The U.S. Doesn’t Track Unaccompanied Migrants. 4 Agencies Say: Not Our Problem.


    Officials from four agencies denied responsibility on Thursday for unaccompanied children once they were released from custody to a sponsor in the United States.CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times

    By Caitlin Dickerson

    • Aug. 16, 2018


    Trump administration officials acknowledged Thursday that they have no system for tracking the tens of thousands of migrant children who are released from federal custody each year after traveling to the United States alone.

    Facing heated questions from a Senate subcommittee, officials from the Health and Human Services Department, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the federal immigration courts each said they were not responsible for following up after the children are handed over to sponsors, most of whom are undocumented relatives or family friends.

    “We have neither the authorities nor the appropriations to exercise that degree of oversight,” said Cmdr. Jonathan White of the United States Public Health Service, part of Health and Human Services.


    Commander White acknowledged that the government stops keeping tabs on a child after a phone call that is made 30 days after he or she is released, even if no one answers.



    The Senate hearing came as the Trump administration was already under fire for mishandling the records of migrant families that were separated at the southwest border, which injected chaos and delays into a court-ordered effort to reunify them. It marked the end of a three-year investigation that began while President Barack Obama was still in office.

    The process for handling children who travel to the United States alone — known as “unaccompanied minors” — has not changed significantly under President Trump.



    “We have a serious problem on our hands,” said Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio. “Unaccompanied children are still crossing the border. HHS is still placing them with sponsors and losing track of them.”

    The investigation found that some of the children have ended up in dangerous situations. At least a dozen have been turned over to human traffickers, including six who were lured by smugglers to Mr. Portman’s state, where they were put to work illegally on an egg farm for no pay. One was 14 years old.


    “These children are at risk for trafficking and abuse,” Mr. Portman said. “When these children do not appear for their hearings, they lose their chance to argue for immigration relief. And many remain in this country illegally, which undermines our nation’s immigration laws.”


    James McHenry, the director of the federal immigration courts, testified that unaccompanied minors were about twice as likely as other migrants to fail to appear in court. More than half miss their hearings and are ordered deported “in absentia,” though most of those remain in the country anyway without legal status.

    The officials who were questioned argued that migrant children become the responsibility of local child welfare agencies when they are released to sponsors. But the senators pushed back, pointing out that the federal government does not alert those authorities when migrant children are placed in their jurisdictions.


    “You want to talk about catch and release?” said Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, referring to a term used by Mr. Trump and other critics of the Obama administration’s policy of releasing migrant families while they await asylum decisions. “You’re catching these children and then you’re releasing them, and everyone goes like this: ‘Not my problem.’”


    Children traveling alone surged across the southern border under Mr. Obama in 2014, when border agents apprehended 68,541 trying to enter the United States. About 41,000 have been apprehended in the current fiscal year, a 16 percent increase from the same period in 2017.


    Since the congressional investigation began in 2015, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the Health and Human Services Department, has strengthened the background checks that it conducts on sponsors before releasing children to them. The agency also began the practice of placing a phone call to sponsors one month after a child’s release.


    Commander White, the department official, acknowledged that follow-up ends there, and most of the phone calls go unanswered. He said that sponsors are not required to stay in contact with the agency, and many “do not want anything more to do with the systems that they have been through.”


    Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, asked whether fewer children might travel to the United States on their own if the government required sponsors to be in the country legally. Commander White declined to speculate on whether such a rule could deter migration over all, which is a well-known goal of the Trump administration. In the short term, he said, it would create a “backup into border stations and produce a humanitarian crisis.”



    The Health and Human Services Department faced a tidal wave of criticism early in the summer for its handling of migrant children after an official acknowledged that the agency had lost track of nearly 1,500 of them in a three-month period. The admission gave rise to the hashtag #WhereAreTheChildren, which added to, and was in some cases conflated with, consternation over the Trump administration’s policy of separating parents and children who crossed the southwest border together.

    Before it was revoked by Mr. Trump, the separation policy placed more than 2,000 children with the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is currently overseeing more than 11,000 in total.


    The dramatic start-and-stop, plus a court order to reunify the separated families, has led to intense public scrutiny of the federal government’s handling of border crossers in general and children in particular. During the hearing, senators also raised concerns about conditions in the facilities where the children are housed before they are placed with sponsors.


    The work of those facilities, and even their locations, has historically been kept secret because of policies that were created to protect the privacy of the children. In recent months, some of the shelters have faced allegations of insufficient resources, as well as physical and sexual abuse.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/16/u...ed-minors.html

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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    DO NOT KEEP THEM...HAND THEM OVER INTO THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF THEIR COUNTRIES OFFICIALS!

    We do not have the manpower, the time OR the money to TRACK thousands and thousands of these illegal aliens minors!

    Get them off our soil.

    They are the RESPONSIBILITY of their President!

    No refugees, no asylum, no TPS, no illegal aliens!
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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