Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan issued an important clarification on Tuesday and said that children taken into U.S. custody after illegally crossing the border are not “lost” as reported in some mainstream media outfits or as claimed by liberals and in reality, the children are placed with a sponsor.
Guesting on “The Hugh Hewitt Show”, Hargan said: “They have been placed, in the vast majority of cases, with parents or close relatives. So when they have a sponsor, we release them to a sponsor. Therefore, they’re not lost. “
Concerns for undocumented children entering the U.S. became a strong issue when Democrats and liberals exploited reports last month that over 1,400 children had been “misplaced” by the government.
The issue of separating parents and children who cross the border illegally became a sensitive point of discussion, prompting President Trump to call lawmakers to change the law.
Hargan also explained that HHS usually makes follow up calls to sponsors to check on the status of the children placed in their care, but if the call goes unanswered for whatever reason, the agency may sometimes consider the child “lost.”
Hargan elaborated: “The only reason why people believe falsely that the children are lost is because that sponsor does not answer the phone when we make the call after 30 days.”
Truth be told, insisted Hargan, his agency doesn’t have much authority to follow up or investigate the child’s whereabouts in cases where calls to the sponsors are not being picked up. Hargan said that at most, they can refer the cases to local authorities. Although he also admitted that there is no set protocol.
He said people should understand the scope and limits of the agency. He stressed: “We don’t have the authority to go beyond that to track the children down or return them to our custody. That’s not part of the legal authorities that Congress has given us.”