Just days before Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration will not hesitate before separating children from their parents at the border, another piece of shocking news had been reported concerning undocumented immigrants.
However, the blaring outrage over Sessions' announcement, somehow, drowned out that piece of shocking news.
On April 26, the Department of Health and Human Services revealed the agency had "lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children it placed with sponsors in the United States."
So, how do you lose hundreds of children?
As it turns out, the Department of Health and Human Services’ refugee office did not conduct a proper follow-up on migrant children who had been placed with U.S. sponsors, many of whom, according to Allison E. Herre, a lawyer with Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio, exploit children for labor instead of sending them to school.
Between October 2017-April 2018, at least 26,001 unaccompanied minors were apprehended on the U.S.-Mexico border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
There is a complex process that comes into play once border patrol agents apprehend unaccompanied children. They are taken to the Department of Homeland Security and then to the Department of Health and Human Services’ refugee office, which places them into shelters until they find a sponsor.
It is then the responsibility of the Department of Health and Human Services’ refugee office to check up on the children to see how they're doing.
However, it seems the government didn't do its job. In fact, Steven Wagner, a top official with the Department of Health and Human Services, told Congress the agency is absolutely uncertain about the whereabouts of 1,475 children.
This essentially means:
The government was supposed to look after nearly 1,500 children but, instead, lost them.
The lost children could face exploitation in the form of human trafficking and forced labor.
The government is not only separating children from their parents, it's also failing at protecting them.
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