Wel then, who is?
Courtesy of CNN:
(Stephen) Wagner is the acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. ORR is a program of the Administration for Children and Families.
CNN reported earlier this month that, in his testimony, Wagner said during the last three months of 2017, the ORR lost track of nearly 1,500 immigrant children it had placed in the homes of sponsors.
Wagner’s statement has attracted more attention amid reports that immigrant children are being separated from their parents at the US border.
Wagner said the Department of Homeland Security referred more than 40,000 immigrant children to the ORR during the 2017 fiscal year.
After a stay in an ORR shelter, the majority of children are sent to live with sponsors who have close ties to the children — typically a parent or close relative, Wagner said, though some end up living with “other-than-close relatives or non-relatives.”
Between October and December 2017, Wagner told the subcommittee, the ORR reached out to 7,635 unaccompanied children to check on them. But the ORR “was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children,” Wagner testified. An additional 28 had run away.
That’s more than 19% of the children that were placed by the ORR. But Wagner said HHS is not responsible for the children.
“I understand that it has been HHS’s long-standing interpretation of the law that ORR is not legally responsible for children after they are released from ORR care,” Wagner said.
Wagner went on to say that the department is taking a fresh look at the problem in response to increased scrutiny, but that if ORR were to be legally responsible for these children they would require a substantial increase in resources.
It is important to note here that the missing children are those who arrived unaccompanied at the border and do NOT include those ripped from their mother’s arms upon arrival.
Those numbers are apparently not yet available.
In the meantime, children continue to be separated from their parents at the border and placed into a system that is clearly broken.