Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra has “no idea” if 85,000 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) have been lost throughout the United States by the agency.
Last month, the New York Times detailed in a report that HHS has lost contact with more than 85,000 UACs after they were turned over to sponsors living throughout the U.S. interior. Many of the UACs have ended up in a labor trafficking pipeline, working brutal jobs for major corporations.
The Times reported:
While HHS checks on all minors by calling them a month after they begin living with their sponsors, data obtained by the Times showed that over the last two years, the agency could not reach more than 85,000 children. Overall, the agency lost immediate contact with a third of migrant children. [Emphasis added]
During a Senate Finance Committee hearing this week, Becerra said he had “no idea” whether HHS has lost track of 85,000 UACs in the U.S. as the Times reported — questioning whether the figure is “based in reality or not.”
“I’d like to know what you’re doing to find the children and what you’re doing to make certain that these children are not being trafficked,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) asked Becerra, to which he responded:
Senator, first those statistics that you mentioned to me … those are unfamiliar to me, I have no idea where those statistics come from, if they’re based in reality or not … some of those statistics that are being thrown out there don’t seem to be based in fact. [Emphasis added]
Becerra told Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) that he “never heard that number of 85,000 … it doesn’t sound at all to be realistic.”
In one admission, though, Becerra said the Biden administration is finding that many UACs are ending up in a labor trafficking pipeline — an admission that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also made this week.
“What we’re finding is that oftentimes, a lot of these children are being employed and I hope that we go aggressively … at any employer that thinks it is right for a 12 to 13-year-old to work in a job that isn’t even safe for adults,” Becerra.
Since Biden took office, a quarter of a million UACs have been resettled with sponsors across American communities. The majority, 64 to 66 percent, are boys, while 72 percent of all UACs are 15 to 18 years old. Only 15 to 16 percent of UACs are babies, toddlers, and pre-teens.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter here.