(CNSNews.com) – A spokesperson for the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration of Children and Families (ACF) said 96 percent of the 45,157 unaccompanied alien children who were in the custody of HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) have been “discharged” to a “sponsor” in the United States.
Kenneth Wolfe, deputy director for the Office of Public Affairs at ACF, told CNSNews.com that in 2014 (through the month of June), 96 percent of the 45,157 children -- or 43,341 of them -- who were transferred from the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to the ORR have been placed with sponsors inside the United States, including with family members.
“Over half of the sponsors are parents of the child,” Wolfe said, citing the percentage of children with this placement status at 55 percent.
As reported earlier by CNSNews.com, some of the families that are receiving these children aliens are themselves in the country illegally.
At a House Judiciary Committee hearing in June that focused on the more than 57,000 unaccompanied alien children from Central America who have streamed across the Southwest U.S. border in recent months, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson conceded that some sponsors are themselves illegal when asked by Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) about the fate of children taken into custody by CBP.
“These kids have come here illegally,” Broun said. “They’ve been lawbreakers already, and you place them with families -- and it’s my understanding that some of these families may be illegal themselves, is that correct?”
“I’m sure that’s true in certain circumstances, yes,” Johnson said.
The number of unaccompanied alien children taken into CBP custody has increased from 27,884 in fiscal year 2013 to 57,535 in fiscal year 2014 through June – or a 106 percent increase, according to the agency.