As Trump falsely blames Democrats for Missing Children HHS Officials offer explanation

President Trump over the weekend falsely blamed Democrats for a “horrible law” separating immigrant children from their parents. In fact, his own administration had just announced this policy earlier this month.

By: AP

His comments followed days of growing alarm that federal authorities have lost track of more than 1,000 immigrant children, mostly from Central America, giving rise to hashtags like #WhereAreTheChildren and claims that children are being ripped from their parents’ arms at the border and then being lost.

But the president is not the only one spreading wrong information. Across social media, there have been confusing reports of what happened to these immigrant children. Here are some answers.

A top official at the US Department of Health and Human Services on Monday called reports that the agency has lost nearly 1,500 immigrant children false and misleading.

The children are not lost, HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan said in a statement. Their sponsors simply have not responded to follow-up calls from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the HHS department that oversees the care of unaccompanied alien or minor children.

The agency was under no obligation to make the 30-day follow-up calls to ensure that the children and their sponsors needed no additional services, he said. Now, this voluntary action is being used to confuse and spread misinformation, he said.

"This is a classic example of the adage 'No good deed goes unpunished,'" he said, offering a possible explanation.

"While there are many possible reasons for this, in many cases sponsors cannot be reached because they themselves are illegal aliens and do not want to be reached by federal authorities," he continued.

"This is the core of this issue: In many cases, HHS has been put in the position of placing illegal aliens with the individuals who helped arrange for them to enter the country illegally. This makes the immediate crisis worse and creates a perverse incentive for further violation of federal immigration law."

So continues the back and forth over who's responsible for the unaccounted children.

The information came to light in a Senate subcommittee meeting in April. A top HHS official testified that ORR was "unable to determine with certainty" the whereabouts of 20% of undocumented minors that it had placed in the homes of sponsors. Steven Wagner, acting assistant secretary for Children and Families, which is part of HHS, disclosed the number while discussing the state of ORR.

His statement came under renewed scrutiny amid reports that immigrant children are being separated from their parents at the US border. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has defended the policy, saying that similar separations happen in the US "every day." But Nielsen agreed with senators that more must be done to protect the children who either come to the US without their parents or are separated from them.

After staying in an ORR shelter, most children are placed with sponsors they have close ties to -- typically a parent or close relative, sometimes with non-relatives, Wagner testified.

At that point, "ORR is not legally responsible for children after they are released from ORR care," he said. ORR would need more resources in order to continue being legally responsible for the children, he added.

The claims have done little to quell critics accusing HSS and ORR of neglecting their duty to the children. On Monday, Wagner fired back, saying that the Unaccompanied Alien Children program is being abused at the expense of American taxpayers.

"It was never intended 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."

Hargan echoed the sentiment.

"The tracking of UAC after release is just one of the recent headlines that focus on the symptoms of our broken immigration system while ignoring its fundamental flaws. President Trump's administration has been calling on Congress to put an end to dangerous loopholes in US immigration laws like the practice of 'catch and release,' in which federal authorities release illegal immigrants to await hearings for which few show up," Hargan said.

In the worst cases, these loopholes are being exploited by human traffickers and violent gangs like MS-13. Until these laws are fixed, the American taxpayer is paying the bill for costly programs that aggravate the problem and put children in dangerous situations."

 

 

Panorama Hispano is the regional news and information newspaper for Hispanic and other diverse communities.

US Hispanics are now the largest ethnic minority in the United States numbering 54.2 million as of July 2014. Serving: Buffalo, Rochester, Fredonia, Niagara Falls, NY and Erie, PA. Outside our Market area: Visit our affiliate at: http://www.impremedia.com/

Contact us: Contact@PanoramaHispanoNews.com

Featured News

Sep 17, 2021
Bills, Dolphins agree: Their recent history doesn’t matter

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Dan Marino was 28 when the Buffalo Bills last were in the throes of enjoying […]

Read More
Sep 17, 2021
Americans have little trust in online security

Most Americans don’t believe their personal information is secure online and aren’t satisfied with the federal government’s efforts to protect […]

Read More
Sep 15, 2021
Mayor Byron Brown Gets Panorama Hispano News Endorsement

Mayor Byron Brown Gets Panorama Hispano News Endorsement By: Edwin Martinez Why endorse political candidates! Some disagree with our process. […]

Read More

popular categories

Copyright © 2021 Panorama Hispano News. All Rights Reserved.
crossmenuchevron-downmenu-circlecross-circle
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram