According to a shocking report from Axios, the Biden Administration has lost track of 45,000 illegal immigrant minors. A minor, in this context, is defined by DHS as “a child who is under the age of 18 and not accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.”
Axios’s report, based on a Freedom of Information Act request, claims that of the ~114,000 illegal immigrant minors that have been apprehended so far this year ~40%, or ~45,000 people, can’t be reached by HHS.
However, that figure is only an extrapolation based on what data is currently available. Axios claims that “During the first five months of the year, care providers made 14,600 required calls to check in with migrant minors released from shelters run by the Department of Health and Human Services…In 4,890 of those instances, workers were unable to reach either the migrant or the sponsor.”
So, in 37% of cases where Health and Human Services attempted to check-in, the minors could not be contacted. From that data, it is inferred that a similar percentage, about 40%, cannot be contacted.
As Fox reports, “roughly on-in-three calls made to migrant children who had been released to their sponsors between January and May of this year went unanswered, suggesting the United States is not adequately protecting those children from harm.”
An HHS spokesperson told Axios that “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.”
Fox, however, presented a contrary view to the HHS spokesperson, claiming that “the data also show that the government is not making as many calls as it should. Thirty-two thousand children were released into the United States from HHS shelters, but the government placed fewer than 15,000 follow up calls.”
Furthermore, again according to the Axios report, the problem may be compounding because of the vast number of illegal immigrant minors being released into the system. Axios claims that “In both March and April, the number of kids discharged was twice as high as the number of check-in calls the following month — indicating that half of the released kids might not have gotten a 30-day call, according to public agency data.”
If the number released continues to outpace the number of calls placed, then an increasing number will be able to slip away into the country and avoid future immigration courts, or, worse yet, be preyed upon with little ability to contact the proper authorities.
The illegal immigrant minors are in that situation because, as Just the News reports, “HHS works with nongovernmental organizations to go through a vetting process and transport the children to reported family members or sponsors already living in the U.S.” But, if those family members are unable or unwilling to cooperate with the government, as the Axios report indicates may be the case, then the illegal immigrant minors disappear into the system or, worse, be taken advantage of by labor traffickers, as Bloomberg Law recently exposed.
Meanwhile, those illegal immigrant minors, when not farmed out to unresponsive guardians, are kept in a vast network of government shelters. The AP reports that:
The Biden administration is holding tens of thousands of asylum-seeking children in an opaque network of some 200 facilities that The Associated Press has learned spans two dozen states and includes five shelters with more than 1,000 children packed inside.
Confidential data obtained by the AP shows the number of migrant children in government custody more than doubled in the past two months, and this week the federal government was housing around 21,000 kids, from toddlers to teens. A facility at Fort Bliss, a U.S. Army post in El Paso, Texas, had more than 4,500 children as of Monday. Attorneys, advocates and mental health experts say that while some shelters are safe and provide adequate care, others are endangering children’s health and safety.
Critics of the Biden Administration largely place the blame on President Biden ending the Trump Administration’s Remain in Mexico policy.
For example, Brandon Judd, in a recent Fox News article, claimed that “The MPP effectively ended the exploitation of children in the United States…By ending the Remain in Mexico Program the Biden administration opened the door for vulnerable children to once again be exploited.”
President Trump, in 2018, was attacked by the press when his administration lost track of 1500 illegal immigrant minors. Based on the Axios data, it appears that President Biden’s tally of lost minors has far exceeded that of President Trump in 2018, perhaps by up to thirty times.