Clarifying the Question: Where are the Children?

As I’ve said many times, I’m not a reporter, I’m a person who blogs, a divorced working mom, a Democrat… I’m a lot of things, and I’m not afraid to say I hate everything about 45.

I try to be factual in my posts and, for that reason, I offer this post correction for your consideration. The title of said post— “Where are the children?”

My post was based on information I found in more than one news outlet, a story that has finally drawn the attention of mainstream media. To be fair, the story has a few problems.

It is the story of U.S. immigration border patrol separating children from their parents, subjecting them to abuse, and then losing them, possibly to human traffickers. It’s been made clear that many of the photos being circulated on the internet, of children in what look like cages, are old… from 2014. I played my part in passing on the pictures in my post a few days ago. I apologize.

I read one particularly informative story on Frontline, which has since been updated with corrections:

“HHS Official Says Agency Lost Track of Nearly 1,500 Unaccompanied Minors” HHS Official Says Agency Lost Track of Nearly 1,500 Unaccompanied Minors

The story pertains to questioning of Steven Wagner, current assistant secretary of the Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families.

A 2016 report was recently released claiming HHS fails at protecting and keeping track of unaccompanied children. Mr Wagner was questioned and has had to provide answers:

According to Wagner— “Between October and December 2017, the agency was unable to locate almost 1,500 out of the 7,635  minors that it attempted to reach — or about 19 percent.”

He said of the 1475, over two dozen had run away, and the agency did not have the capacity to track them down. (Math is important, 1475-25=1450 missing children, not so bad.🙄)

Many in Congress also expressed concern:

“It’s just a system that has so many gaps, so many opportunities for these children to fall between the cracks, that we just don’t know what’s going on — how much trafficking or abuse or simply immigration law violations are occurring,” ~ Republican Committee Republican, Sen. Rob Portman.

A new story on NPR clarifies much:

Cecilia Muñoz, President Obama’s domestic policy director, shared her knowledge of the subject in an interview on NPR with Steve Inskeep.

Following Up On 1,500 Missing Immigrant Children In The U.S. : NPR

Muñoz confirms many of the pictures in circulation are from 2014, a time during the Obama administration when there was a spike in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border— children on top of railway cars, or brought in by smugglers, crossing the border without adults.

She says that because of the dramatic spike in numbers at that time, there were not enough facilities to hold the increased numbers, so they were put in border patrol lockup’s, which were not meant to hold children. She said the administration adjudicated them as quickly as possible, so they were kept there for as short a time as possible, then either sent back, or placed placed with family members already in the US.

That explains the pictures.

Muñoz also stated children who are returned to family members, who are in the US illegally, often can not be accounted for because they are with family members who don’t want to be found. She says they are among the numbers of “missing. Point taken.

The system needed improvement even then.

Children were not protected as they should have been, and many do end up in the hands of human traffickers.

Regarding Trump’s claim, that separating parents from children was done by the Obama administration, and saying it’s a law, is not true, or as I like to say, Trump is lying again. There is no such law.

Cecilia Muñoz said this is absolutely not true. The Obama administration never separated families. “That is a tactic of the most brutal regimes in history.”

She called it reprehensible, and reminds us that it is a new policy that was announced at a press conference by Attorney General Jeff (I do not recall) Sessions.

Donald Trump loves to point his short, stubby, orange, wrinkled, Cheetos finger at Obama and Hillary.

Cecilia Muñoz also wanted to make clear the distinction between refugees and illegal migrants. Refugees are allowed by law (This is a law, Donald.) to approach boarder patrol officers to request asylum if they are fleeing danger.

These are the families Trump’s administration is separating.

The children are taken from their parents, approximately 50 per day, placed on busses, then taken to privately owned facilities. The government blames the refugees for seeking asylum and disavows responsibility.

He doesn’t need any help looking bad.

The corrections have not changed the essentials of my original story.


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