Lost and Found

U.S. Official Denies Agency ‘Lost’ 1,500 Immigrant Children

A top official from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has denied reports that his agency lost 1,500 immigrant children. The figure came to light in a Senate subcommittee meeting in April when an HHS official said the agency was “unable to determine with certainty” the whereabouts of 1,500 children who entered the U.S. unaccompanied. The figure came under renewed criticism this week after reports that children are being separated from their parents at the border. The official said the department attempted to follow up on the 2016 release of unaccompanied children by contacting their families but some didn’t respond.“These children are not ‘lost,’” said Deputy HHS Secretary Eric Hargan. “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.”