>> Reports that the US government lost track of nearly 1,500 immigrant children they placed with sponsors, are causing outrage and calls for accountability. In April testimony that's only getting attention now. Department of Health and Human Services official, Steven Wagner, told the Senate Committee that his department followed up with over 7,000 of the unaccompanied children they placed in care in 2017, but couldn't locate 1,475 of them.
That revelation has sparked demands for action amongst some in Congress. And an online campaign with trending #WhereAreTheChildren and #MissingChildren hashtags. Wagner told the Senate that once the government places children with a sponsor, it no longer has legal responsibility for them. But there are growing fears that the missing children could fall into the hands of human traffickers.
Concern for the lost children has been amplified because of the Trump administration's tougher border enforcement rules that will result in more children being separated from their parents. Under a new policy, anyone who crosses the border illegally, even those seeking asylum will be prosecuted. And during that process, parents will have their children taken away from them.
In his April testimony, Wagner said the Office of Refugee Resettlement is re-examining whether it should have legal responsibility for the children it places with sponsors.