The Trump administration reportedly lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children who entered the country illegally this year and were subsequently placed with sponsors. The figure was cited in data released by Senate investigators Tuesday and adds to the 1,475 migrant children the Department of Health and Human Services previously admitted to having lost track of last year, The New York Times reports. Out of 11,254 children the agency placed with sponsors this year, the department has been unable to determine the whereabouts of 1,488 children, according to the report. HHS has previously said it does not consider itself legally responsible for children once they leave government shelters, but the latest figure has renewed concerns of children winding up in the hands of human traffickers or being used as laborers. Caitlin Oakley, an HHS spokeswoman, told the Times that the children are “not ‘lost.’” “Their sponsors—who are usually parents or family members and in all cases have been vetted for criminality and ability to provide for them—simply did not respond or could not be reached when this voluntary call was made,” she said.
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