Over 100,000 Unaccompanied Alien Children Released Inside US Since FY 2016

Melanie Arter | January 30, 2018 | 1:20pm EST
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(CNSNews.com) - Since fiscal year 2016, over 100,000 unaccompanied alien children (UAC) were released inside the U.S., according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.

During fiscal year 2016 (October 2015 to September 2016), there were 52,147 UACs released inside the U.S.

During fiscal year 2017 (October 2016 to September 2017), there were 42,416 UACs released inside the U.S., and during fiscal year 2018 (October 2017 to December 2018), 7.624 UACs were released inside the U.S.

That makes a total of 102,187 UACs released into the U.S. since FY 2016.

Incidentally, about 15 percent (1,139) of the  7.624 UACs released so far in the U.S. in FY 2018 went to California.

In December 2017 alone, 3,170 UACs were released into the interior of the U.S., according to HHS, which represents an increase from the month before when 2,233 UACs were released to sponsors in November.  

The 7,624 UACs released inside the U.S. so far in fiscal year 2018 are in addition to the 19,975 family units (illegal immigrant children accompanied by an adult claiming to be a relative or a guardian) that were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

According to HHS, when illegal immigrant child who is not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian is apprehended by immigration authorities, he or she is transferred to the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

According to current federal law, ORR is required to feed, shelter, and provide medical care for UACs until they are able to be released to “safe settings with sponsors (usually family members), while they await immigration proceedings.”

“Sponsors are adults who are suitable to provide for the child’s physical and mental well-being and have not engaged in any activity that would indicate a potential risk to the child. All sponsors must pass a background check. The sponsor must agree to ensure the child’s presence at all future immigration proceedings. They also must agree to ensure the minor reports to ICE for removal from the United States if an immigration judge issues a removal order or voluntary departure order,” HHS said on its website.

As part of the White House’s framework on immigration reform and border security, the Trump administration is calling on Congress to “deter illegal entry by ending dangerous statutorily-imposed catch-and-release and by closing legal loopholes that have eroded our ability to secure the immigration system and protect public safety.”

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