Recently, Old Uncle Joe’s administration has been parading around like a peacock lauding what it calls success in the processing of unaccompanied minor children through Customs and Border Protection, and in more recent news, through Health and Human Services. A brand new report put out by Axios seemed to point to the fact that the United States government has seemingly lost the locations of thousands of the unaccompanied migrant children that had been released to sponsors, which were often relatives, inside the U.S. This raises many questions about the locations of those various children and as to whether they are still being protected.
Over the past few months, the tide of child migrants flowing across the United States-Mexico border has plowed through all previous records. Back in April and March, thousands of unaccompanied migrant children found themselves in the custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and then in August, which is normally a very slow month for border crossings in general, the agents along the border were looking down the barrel of having to process more than 800 solitary child migrants in a single day, which is in itself a one-day record for the Department of Homeland Security, as reported by the U.S. News and World Report.
Multiple thousands of those kids were being held in the custody of the CBP for an oddly extended length of time, however, earlier this year the Biden Administration allowed the Department of Health and Human Services to operate temporary shelters for child migrants whose relatives or sponsors inside the U.S. had failed to be located.
As of roughly a month ago, there were over 14,000 children being held in temporary custody in the HHS shelters, as reported by Reuters. As we know, at least one such shelter settled in Ft. Bliss in Texas, has been the target of a large number of whistleblower complaints, seemingly alleging that the kids being held in the facility are being entirely neglected, living in horrid conditions, and have shown the signs they are starting to suffer from depression.
Just over 65,000 kids are thought to have been processed through CBP custody in the timespan of January through May of 2021.
As of now, Axios has put forth a report stating that the children that the Biden administration had released from their custody, which was normally to sponsors or relatives, may have not been tracked and cared for as expected. “Between President Biden’s inauguration and the end of May, HHS discharged 32,000 children and teens — but the government placed fewer than 15,000 follow-up calls,” stated the outlet.
“Roughly one-in-three calls made to released migrant kids or their sponsors between January and May went unanswered, raising questions about the government’s ability to protect minors after they’re released to family members or others in the U.S.,” reported the news source on Thursday.
“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. These minors typically were taken in by relatives or other vetted sponsors,” stated Axios. “In 4,890 of those instances, workers were unable to reach either the migrant or the sponsor. The percentage of unsuccessful calls grew, from 26% in January to 37% in May, the data provided to Axios showed.”
These lost children could be in danger and law enforcement officials at the federal level have reportedly started investigating the possibility that some of the teenaged migrants may have been handed over to labor traffickers and are now being forcibly worked in poultry processing plants, as reported by Bloomberg.
“Since we spoke last month about indicators of labor exploitation and/or potential labor trafficking of unaccompanied minors in Alabama, [the U.S. Justice Department’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit] has become aware of similar concerns in multiple other jurisdictions,” stated a Biden administration email from the Department of Justice, which was obtained by Bloomberg. “Some of these situations appear to involve dozens of unaccompanied minors all being released to the same sponsor and then exploited for labor in poultry processing or similar industries without access to education.”
“DOJ declined to comment. The U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, which enforces child labor laws, ‘is aware of these concerns and is cooperating with the appropriate law enforcement agencies,'” stated Bloomberg.