In recent weeks, the Trump administration’s treatment of immigrant children has snowballed into a disaster of epic proportions. Not only has the GOP come under heavy scrutiny and criticism, as reports have emerged, but citizens on both sides of the aisle have become horrified with the ways the administration is handling undocumented families.
What started with reports of the federal government essentially losing track of 1,500 immigrant children has now become a top national issue as more data gave insight to the inhumane treatment of these children in detention centers once the families were separated.
As the reports began to shed light and investigations into these family separations and detainment camps increased, the atrocious gravity of the problem became clear. Children of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers, were being separated from their parents at the border and being transferred to encampments with subpar living conditions that can only be likened to those seen in prisons.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, new data has emerged challenging the original claim that 1,500 immigrant children have been lost, as analysts at McClatchy state have found that the number is actually far higher than originally believed. After looking into the original reports by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the media outlet now claims that the real number of children lost is nearly four times that which was seen in the department’s data.
According to the McClatchy article:
‘The Trump administration has likely lost track of nearly 6,000 unaccompanied migrant children, thousands more than lawmakers were alerted to last month, according to a McClatchy review of federal data.
‘Federal officials acknowledged last month that nearly 1,500 unaccompanied minors arrived on the southern border alone without their parents and were placed with sponsors who did not keep in touch with federal officials, but those numbers were only a snapshot of a three-month period during the last fiscal year.’
BREAKING: McClatchy reports close to 6,000 migrant children missing!
The previous 1,475 number was based on a sample of only 7,635 children and their sponsors. HHS placed more than 42,497 unaccompanied children with sponsors in fiscal year 2017.
— Amy Siskind ?️? (@Amy_Siskind) June 19, 2018
The McClatchy report outlines that the data which only spans three months in time fails to take into consideration the number of migrant children that may have been lost prior, leading analysts to infer that the federal government has lost track of a far greater volume of children.
Exclusive: The Trump administration has likely lost track of nearly 6,000 unaccompanied migrant children, thousands more than lawmakers were alerted to last month, according to a @mcclatchy review of federal data.
by @anitakumar01 @FrancoOrdonez #Maddowhttps://t.co/ehCHgErFDT pic.twitter.com/NLIlaGSyJS
— Polly Sigh (@dcpoll) June 19, 2018
Government officials have attempted to downplay the reality of this problem, insisting that the children are not actually missing and instead are just unreachable at this moment in time. According to the above-mentioned McClatchy report, Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families office at the HHS claims that:
‘If you call a friend and they don’t answer the phone, you don’t assume that they’ve been kidnapped. So that characterization that the kids are missing is incorrect. And I just want to emphasize that they are not in our custody at the point at which that voluntary phone call is made.’
McClatchy: US officials likely lost nearly 6K migrant kids
Feds admitted nearly 1.5K minors were with sponsors who have been out of reach, but that number's from trying to track only 7.6K children. More than 42K children were placed in fiscal year 2017.https://t.co/wCLhP3KVmS
— AsperGirl (@an0nygir1) June 19, 2018
So, not only are these administration officials trying to disregard losing track of children with futile justifications, they are going to the extent of denying responsibility for something that was their fault in the first place.
As the immoral and unethical realities of Trump’s immigration policies are revealed, it is sickening to think that toddlers are being used as a political pawn to push forward a detrimental agenda. Despite the GOP’s greatest attempt to do damage control during this dark hour, there is little they can say to justify carrying out such un-American and inhumane actions.
Featured image by LOREN ELLIOTT/AFP/Getty Images