President chides Dems for blaming his administration for kids in cages

Pelosi hands

In a February 2017 report, Kolb cited ORR data indicating that in the first three months of fiscal year 2016, only 56 percent of unaccompanied children participated in follow-up calls with government officials within 30 days of their US placement.

Over the past several days, a heated public debate has raged over the administration's policy towards migrant children.

In the midst of backlash over a new "zero tolerance" policy on immigration enforced by the Justice Department, President Donald Trump has come under fire for measures to curb illegal immigration that separate parents from their children.

The almost four-year-old photographs were linked to reports that Homeland Security had lost track of almost 1,500 migrant children last year.

CNN reports that more than 40,000 immigrant kids were given homes, but now the government can't tell you where even 1,500 of them are.

A controversy erupted after Wagner testified in April before a Senate committee that the agency in 2016 conducted a limited "safety and well-being" call to around 7,600 children that had been in its care but was unable to locate around 1,500 children and their sponsors. Those challenges can be seen in immigration court statistics. And because many adult sponsors, including parents, are living in the country illegally, they may fear contact with federal officials.

HHS has made it a practice to make phone calls to check in on the minor's placement. Under previous protocol, parents and their children have been either detained or released together, pending asylum or immigration hearings. "So, if we do our duty and prosecute those cases, then children inevitably for a period of time might be in different conditions". But if an administration opts to impose harsh criminal charges against an adult for crossing the border illegally, their children would be separated from them as a result.

"If somebody is unwilling to claim their child from custody because they're concerned about their own immigration status, I think that, de facto, calls into question whether they're an adequate sponsor and whether we should be releasing a child to that person", said Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families at HHS. "With DHS' cooperation we will conduct a fingerprint-based background check on every sponsor". It's more accurate to say the government lost track of them, as Bharara put it.

This is what Trump and this administration do not understand about immigration. During those two months a total of about 8,400 unaccompanied minors were caught on the southwest border. During President Barack Obama's second term, the government prosecuted roughly 70,000 cases per year. It's a terrible thing where you have to break up families. "He had an open-door, open-arms policy toward them".

'It was Obama's policy of letting anybody go who had a kid with them that created the expectation that it would work, ' he said.

He is right about the misrepresentation, though it's not clear that many prominent Democrats jumped on this particular Twitter bandwagon. Liberal activists and others, including some from media outlets, tried to highlight the issue by tweeting photos of young people in steel cages that actually were taken during the Obama administration.

But there is no law requiring parents and children to be separated.

In a tweet Saturday, Trump portrayed the family-separation measures as a tactic to arm-twist his opponents.

For years, as unaccompanied minors arrived in the United States, border patrol or customs officials transferred them to the custody of HHS, which then placed them with a relative or sponsor. Miroff covers drug trafficking, border security and transnational crime on The Washington Post's National Security desk.

Related News:

Most liked

Van Gundy sees Cavs-Warriors as total mismatch
Then (31:00): they discuss Kevin Durant's unusual series, a cryptic post-game comment, and the future of Steve Kerr ... There is clearly some relief to be back where this All-Star group expected to be all along.

Trump blasts NYT for rally crowd size estimate
President Trump is holding a rally Tuesday night in Nashville , as Republicans hope to keep a Tennessee Senate seat red. Trump said one of those surrogates who appeared with Clinton on the campaign trail was rapper Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter.

Trump weighs in on Roseanne: Where's my apology from ABC?
She has a history of diving into political conspiracy theories on Twitter, and that's how she ended her Memorial Day weekend. Roseanne also apologized for the tweet and urged her fans not to boycott ABC, since they had the right to fire her.

United States televangelist appeals for donations for $54m jet
Copeland said their fame made it hard to travel with the public because of the number of people who would come up and ask for prayers.

Andrew Lincoln walking away from 'The Walking Dead'
The Walking Dead traditionally opens each season in October, with eight episodes in the fall and eight in the spring. Reps for Lincoln did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment, while AMC declined to comment.

Russia, Israel agree to drive off Iranian military from Syrian border
Mostafa Moslehzadeh, reportedly received instructions from senior officials to conduct the negotiations with Israel in Amman. But the area has been tense following a series of recent Israeli strikes on Syrian and Iranian forces.

Starbucks to close U.S. stores for bias training on Tuesday
The men, who had previously asked for the code needed to use the store's bathroom, said they were waiting for a friend. Schultz , CEO Kevin Johnson and musician and activist Common will serve as virtual guides.

Trump, Abe say 'imperative' to dismantle N. Korean weapons
The President later in the day said the meeting would see the two sides "make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself".

Weinstein charged with rape, sex abuse
Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in a non-consensual sexual behavior with anyone", he wrote . "Mr. Brafman says the #MeToo movement may make it hard to find an impartial jury. "My job is not to defend behaviour", he said.

Ranking all the Star Wars movies after Solo
The David Leitch-directed film stars Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Solo was projected to potentially dethrone that movie , but it came nowhere close to doing that.

AAA will tow you home for free this Memorial Day weekend
According to CNN Money average gas prices have jumped by 31 percent over the past year in the U.S. Matthews, or as low as $2.89 a gallon like at the Meijer and Marathon-Circle K in Jeffersontown.

Royal wedding photographer: Meghan brings 'breath of fresh air'
Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? The images were taken at Windsor Castle following the carriage procession.

Court Orders 30-Year-Old's Eviction From Parents' Home. "Outrageous", He Says
According to court documents, Rotondo's parents also say he doesn't help out with expenses or do chores. He moved in with his parents in their Camillus, New York home after losing his job .

LeBron James Forces G7 With HISTORIC Performance
He scored the Cavs' opening basket and never looked back, finishing with 46 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and three steals. And he's just one more 40-point playoff game away from tying yet another National Basketball Association record.

HBO producing documentary about Serial's Adnan Syed
Syed has always said he is innocent and, since his story garnered wider attention, he has been granted a new trial . Now a lawyer, Chaudry said she remains optimistic that by the end of 2018, Syed might walk free.