Reports: 1,500 immigrant children missing, feds say they’re not responsible


The federal government has admitted that it does not know the whereabouts of almost 1,500 immigrant children in its custody, according to news reports.

>> Read more trending news 

The Office of Refugee Resettlement took in some 40,000 immigrant children in 2017 and when the agency reached out to check on more than 7,000 of them between October and December of 2017, 1,475 were unaccounted for at the end of the year, CNN reported.

The news came as the Trump administration cracks down on undocumented immigrants, threatening to separate more children from their families if the families are caught entering the United States illegally, in a new policy move.

In testimony before Congress earlier this month, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen said the children of illegal immigrants are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services within 48 hours after they are taken into custody, and DHHS officials then find sponsored homes for them, USA Today reported.

Nielsen said separations like this happen in the U.S. every day.

Top DHHS official Steven Wagner testified before a Congressional subcommittee last month during a hearing on the Office of Refugee Resettlement that the ORR was “was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children,” and that 28 more had run away, CNN reported.

“I understand that it has been HHS’ long-standing interpretation of the law that ORR is not legally responsible for the children after they are released from ORR care,” Wagner said. 

>> Related: Woman arrested for stealing a salad now facing deportation

Wagner also said DHHS is “taking a fresh look at that question,” according to CNN, but he also said ORR would need a lot more money if the office is expected to be legally responsible for unaccompanied immigrant children.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Diddy remembers 'soulmate' Kim Porter in Instagram post
Diddy remembers 'soulmate' Kim Porter in Instagram post

Diddy is publicly speaking about the death of Kim Porter, his on-again, off-again girlfriend of 13 years and the mother of his three children, for the first time. Porter was found dead in her Los Angeles home Thursday at age 47. >> Read more trending news  “For the last three days I’ve been trying to wake up out of this nightmare...
Toyota offers to replace man’s truck burned by California wildfires
Toyota offers to replace man’s truck burned by California wildfires

A nurse used his Toyota Tundra to evacuate patients from the California wildfires at the intensive care unit he oversees.  >> Read more trending news  While Allyn Pierce was able to help get himself and others to safety, the truck, nicknamed “The Pandra” was not as fortunate. The fire’s heat welded the rear doors shut...
Book sold after 28 years at independent bookstore
Book sold after 28 years at independent bookstore

After spending nearly 30 years on the shelf of an independent bookstore, a book has a home. According to a tweet from Broadhurst Bookshop in Southport, England, the book was sold on Saturday after having been in the store since 1991. >> Read more trending news  >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting...
Florida officers escorting Santa bust theft ring
Florida officers escorting Santa bust theft ring

Two Daytona Beach police officers escorting Mr. and Mrs. Claus to a tree lighting ceremony broke up a major theft ring in the parking lot Saturday night, the Police Department said.  >> Read more trending news  Officers Joe Evans and Courtney Wooleyhan were returning to duty, after escorting Santa and Mrs. Claus to the Tanger Outlets...
Tennessee man arrested, charged with raping 16-month-old, officials say
Tennessee man arrested, charged with raping 16-month-old, officials say

A man investigators said raped a 16-month-old child has been taken into custody, officials said Sunday. According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, Simon Porter, 33, has been located and captured in Scottsboro, Alabama. Porter was arrested and charged with aggravated rape.
More Stories