Report: Government Can’t Locate a Third of Alien Children It Released

As concerns about trafficking of UACs mount

On September 1, Axios reported that the federal government has “lost contact” with about one-third of the unaccompanied alien children (UACs) it released between January and May. That is especially troubling given the fact that the number of UACs entering illegally is surging and concerns are being raised that a number of them have been trafficked. It’s not necessarily a new problem, but it suggests that the Biden administration is acting in undue — and reckless — haste in releasing those children to begin with.

Under a 2008 law, unaccompanied minors in DHS custody are segregated into two different groups.

If DHS encounters a UAC from a so-called “contiguous” country (Canada or Mexico), it must screen that child within 48 hours to determine if he or she has an asylum claim or has been trafficked. If the child does not fear harm if returned and has not been trafficked, DHS can send the child back home.

If the child is from any other country, however, DHS must transfer him or her within 72 hours to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), even if the child has not been trafficked and has no fear of return. HHS puts those children in shelters it runs or for which it has contracts, usually for quick placement with a sponsor in the United States

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