While open-borders enthusiasts spread bogus claims about migrant children “lost” by federal authorities, there is genuine concern over the government’s failure to remove those here illegally.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, only 3.5 percent of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) apprehended in the U.S. are ever removed from the country.
That paltry percentage may be a high-water mark, as illegal border crossings with children are up a whopping 315 percent from a year ago.
So far this fiscal year, 13,186 UACs have been transported into the interior of the United States. That’s in addition to 94,293 released over the previous two years.
Courtesy of the Department of Health and Human Services’s Unaccompanied Alien Children Program, the get-out-of-detention releases ship youngsters to family members around the country. The placement system costs U.S. taxpayers more than $1 billion a year.
Beyond the price tag lies a starker reality: HHS’s foster care arrangements aid and abet child smuggling. This Nanny State exercise emboldens more alien families to illegally cross the border, endangering more lives and lining the pockets of criminal human-traffickers.
HHS, according to its mission statement, is tasked with “enhancing the health and well-being of all Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.” There is no mention of accommodations for aliens of any age.
Clearly, the job of detaining and processing illegal aliens belongs to Homeland Security, not Health and Human Services.
Yet a court order, the Flores Settlement Agreement, limits DHS detention of alien minors to 20 days before they must be turned over to HHS. President Donald Trump last year called on Congress to end the backdoor bureaucratic handoff whose pernicious effects are becoming more evident by the day.
“The only way to ensure the safety and the presence at removal proceedings of alien minors is for DHS to detain them until their cases can be adjudicated,” notes Andrew Arthur at the Center for Immigration Studies.
It’s only fair and right that no child be left behind.