Many of the tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children placed with sponsors in the United States have skipped immigration court hearings, and U.S. authorities have lost track of many others, according to an analysis released Tuesday.
Produced by Joseph Kolb for the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, the study examines government statistics and paints a picture of shoddy follow-through by authorities tasked with making sure youths have settled into sponsor homes and show up for immigration court dates that sometimes are set years in the future.
“They’ve tried to be a little more diligent, but it’s still inadequate.”
“They’ve tried to be a little more diligent, but it’s still inadequate,” Kolb told LifeZette.
Beginning in mid-2014, teenagers from Central American nations began arriving in steady streams at the U.S.-Mexican border. The number dipped the following year, but began rising again last year. From fiscal year 2014 through September 2016, 133,502 children arriving in the United States have been placed with sponsors, according to the report.
The policy of the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama was to screen the youths and then place them, when possible, with relatives in the United States. The report cites data obtained by the Associated Press indicating that 80 percent of those children, or 106,802, were placed with sponsors who themselves were illegal immigrants.