If you have recently opened Twitter, I am sure you've seen the hashtag #WhereAreTheChildren. The government lost 1,475 immigrant children and the internet is demanding answers. It is unbelievable to think that all of those children are unable to be tracked down.
According to General Jeff Sessions, he is doing the right thing and is on the side of "law and order." He believes that according to be in this administration, you have to be. Recent laws have changed. Flores v. Reno was settled back in 1997 and it had set national standards for the treatment and placement of minors. Children were supposed to be kept in the "least restrictive setting" meaning they would be released from custody alongside their mothers. Now, it is required that children be taken away from their families.
Jeff Sessions says, "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border." And now people are furious and demanding answers. People want to know what the reasoning behind this was. Is ripping children away from their families some sort of punishment? Well, according to Sessions, his intent is to "send a message" to all families unlawfully forcing these kids into the U.S.
Let's look at the numbers. 7,635 children, or Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), were put in the car of sponsors. The ORR had finally agreed to reach out to these sponsors to check in on the safety and well-being of these kids. In the end, they only came in contact with 86% of these sponsors, meaning 6,075 children were still with these people. Some of these children had run away, were taken out of the U.S., and others were relocated to live with someone that wasn't their sponsor. In the end, the ORR was unable to figure out where 1,475 of these kids were. The U.S. government has been searching for these children for months, and yet we still have no answers?
Take a second to think about how many awful places these children have ended up. About 85% of these sponsors are somehow related to these kids, yet they're still strangers to them. Now that other 15% are really strangers. Sure, they do background checks, but how secure are those background checks? If these children were able to slip through the cracks, it obviously isn't secure enough. They could be placed with criminals, and I don't even want to think about how many have ended up as victims of child trafficking. It's up to us now to find the children that we failed safety to.
Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE and ask them #WhereAreTheChildren?