State Attorney General Claims More Than 85,000 Children Have Been Lost At Border

By Victor Winston, updated on February 27, 2024

Over 85,000 migrant children are reported missing, sparking nationwide concern.

Twenty-two state attorneys general have expressed severe worries about the safety of over 85,000 migrant children, fearing many may be victims of exploitation.

This month, the Department of Health and Human Services published a report revealing that more than 85,000 migrant children who entered the United States might be missing. This alarming number has raised serious concerns among legal experts nationwide. Attorneys general from twenty-two states are especially worried, suggesting that these children could be caught in forced labor or, in more dire circumstances, become victims of sex trafficking.

Is the Department of Health and Human Services Meeting Its Obligations?

The Department of Health and Human Services is legally mandated to safeguard these children, including reuniting them with family members or vetting sponsors to ensure their well-being. Unfortunately, according to the concerned attorneys general, the department is falling short of these duties. Instead, tens of thousands of children remain missing, whereabouts unknown, potentially facing unimaginable horrors.

In a collective outcry for action, the attorneys general are urging key figures, including Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and FBI Director Christopher Wray, to take immediate steps. Their call to action is simple yet urgent: find the missing children and rigorously vet any family or sponsor before placement to prevent further harm.

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird stated:

The Department of Health and Human Services must ensure that it is not handing over children to criminals and sex traffickers. Losing 85,000 kids is like losing the entire population of Sioux City. This is unacceptable. As a mom, it makes me sick to know that many of these missing kids have been trapped into forced labor and exploited by heinous sex traffickers. It’s the federal government’s job to keep these children safe. I’ve joined with 21 other attorneys general in demanding that the Biden Administration immediately locate and protect these children.

A Coalition Formed to Find and Protect Missing Migrant Children

The coalition, led by Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, brings a bipartisan issue beyond politics to the forefront. The safety and welfare of children, regardless of their nationality, should be a universal concern.

Attorney General Brenna Bird further emphasized the grave risk facing these children, comparing the lost children's number to the entire population of Sioux City, Iowa. Her words paint a vivid picture of the crisis at hand, not just as a legal issue but as a human one. The federal government's responsibility to protect these vulnerable children was the core reason for the letter sent to the administration.

The Department of Health and Human Services bears a critical responsibility by law. As outlined by the attorneys general, this includes the task of reuniting these migrant children with their families or ensuring their placement with thoroughly vetted sponsors. However, the bleak reality, as presented by the report, suggests a failure in fulfilling these essential duties.

Urgent Measures Needed to Ensure the Safety of Migrant Children

The collective outcry from the attorneys general is not simply a demand for action but a plea for accountability. It's a call to ensure that the protection of migrant children is not just a policy on paper but a practice realized in earnest.

In their letter, specific actions were requested, underscoring the necessity for a cohesive and robust strategy to locate the missing children. Moreover, this strategy must include stringent safeguards to prevent future occurrences, ensuring that migrant children are placed with families or sponsors capable of offering them a safe and nurturing environment.

The report highlights a critical issue with the safety of more than 85,000 migrant children at risk, drawing attention from attorneys general throughout the United States. They unanimously urge top government officials to act swiftly to locate these children and ensure their safety.

The Department of Health and Human Services and other federal departments are confronted with a significant challenge. However, addressing this issue is crucial to rebuilding trust in the system meant to protect the most vulnerable individuals.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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