The U.S. government has reportedly lost touch with thousands of illegal immigrant children whom they released from custody.
According to data obtained by Axios via a Freedom of Information Act request, roughly on-in-three calls made to migrant children who had been released to their sponsors between January and May of this year went unanswered, suggesting the United States is not adequately protecting those children from harm.
“This is very dismaying,” Mark Greenberg, a former Obama administration official told Axios about the data. “If large numbers of children and sponsors aren’t being reached, that’s a very big gap in efforts to help them.”
Care providers made 14,600 calls to check in with minors released from Department of Health and Human Services shelters and taken in by relatives and vetted sponsors. Workers were unable to reach 4,890 of those migrants or their sponsors. The percentage of calls that went unanswered jumped from 26% in January to 37% in May.
The data also show that the government is not making as many calls as it should. Thirty-two thousand children were released into the United States from HHS shelters, but the government placed fewer than 15,000 follow up calls.