#WhereAreTheChildren: Request for Emergency Congressional Hearing for Missing UACs

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#WhereAreTheChildren: Request for Emergency Congressional Hearing on the Missing Migrant Children (UACs)

This petition is a request for members of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security to urge Congress to hold an emergency hearing to determine the location of the 1,475 missing migrant children or unaccompanied alien children (UACs) who were reported as lost or missing by Federal Agencies.

Description

On April 26, 2018, Steve Wagner of the Department of Health and Human Services, revealed to Congress that the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 migrant children.

It is highly likely that these children were released to persons whose intent is to subject them to human trafficking, child labor or other forms of abuse.

We are submitting this petition to request an emergency Congressional hearing to determine what steps are being taken to recover these missing children.

Determine the Identity of Sponsors Who Took Custody of Migrant Children (UACs)

24 hours before ORR releases a migrant child from custody, it notifies DHS of the sponsor’s identity, location, and relationship to the child, and ORR asks for DHS input regarding the safety of the release for the UAC and for the community.

The hearing should uncover the identity of the individuals who posed as sponsors, their reported relationship to the migrant child, and the method for verifying their identity. It should also be determined whether ORR can verify the identities of sponsors who took custody of the missing children.

UAC Recovery Plan

In April’s hearing, steps to improve ORR’s processes and interagency communication were detailed, however, no plan was revealed as to how the agency would go about investigating and recovering the 1,475 missing children.

We ask that all federal agencies involved report the steps that are being taken, including current investigative steps, to recover the 1,475 missing children.

Law Enforcement Action

We are also asking that any sponsor who provided false identification or falsified their personal details to take possession of a UAC, be held criminally accountable. In addition, these cases should be treated as missing persons cases and every effort should be made by law enforcement to track down the location of these children.



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