At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said he was worried about migrant children the government has lost track of after they crossed the border unaccompanied.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is required to take in children under the age of 18 who cross the border without a parent. The children are eventually placed under the care of sponsors, who may or may not be related to the child.
Lee said the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement’s policies related to ensuring the safety of migrant children aren’t adequate.
“Once you get a child, you start looking for a sponsor or alternatively, a sponsor may come to you, and then you do some kind of a precursory background check to figure out what’s going on to see if they’ve got any convictions in the United States,” Lee said.
But, he added, sponsors aren’t asked about their immigration status. The policies also don’t require checking in with a sponsor’s home country to see if there is a criminal record.
“You don’t come with local law enforcement. You seldom, if ever, do any kind of home visit. If they don’t answer the phone after a month or so, then you consider your job done,” Lee said.
.@HHSGov has lost contact with more than 85,000 children brought to this country illegally.— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) October 25, 2023
85,000 children that this administration has negligently placed with all but unknown sponsors.
This is wrong. pic.twitter.com/0fNm6AjtTe
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