(The Center Square) – The California Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) is sending out automated emails and phone calls to foster parents asking if they will take between one and 26 or more unaccompanied migrant children who have entered the U.S. illegally. The majority are between the ages of 12 and 17.
There are currently 30,000 American children in the Los Angeles County foster system waiting for placement.
unaccompanied migrant children
The calls began in mid-March, foster parents told local news outlets. When parents asked the state agency if the calls and emails were legitimate, the CCLD sent a letter stating it was “trying to address the needs of a record number of unaccompanied children who are arriving from Central America, who are escaping impossible situations such as poverty, violence, and natural disasters.”
The agency is compiling a list of its families that will partner with the California Department of Social Services. It sent an initial survey to licensed children’s residential facilities in response to a request from HHS.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for overseeing the influx of more than 20,000 unaccompanied minors arriving at the southern border from February through mid-April after they are first processed by Border Patrol. Working with nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits and religious organizations, HHS has operated a quasi-proxy foster care system, initially placing children with sponsors willing to temporarily take the children.
Since March 23, HHS has been releasing between 200 and 350 children a day to sponsors.
unaccompanied migrant children facility
Former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan said that, “Parents living here will hire a criminal organization to bring their child into the country,” arguing that the Biden administration facilitated 18,000 family separations in March as a result of dismantling existing border security measures.
In March, a record high 18,663 migrant children were apprehended by Border Patrol, more than double that of February. April is projected to be even higher.
“We know 31 percent of women had been assaulted making that trip. We know children have been assaulted, we know there’s children in the hands of criminal cartels, we know what happens to them … and it’s just a travesty,” Homan said.
Once Central American unaccompanied minors are placed into the U.S. foster care system, they are fast tracked into a citizenship process through Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. The “SIJ status” provides a green card to the children, which entitles them to state-sponsored programs, financial aid, transitional housing, and most welfare programs, the Los Angeles County Social Services department says.
unaccompanied migrant children
The average cost to care for a child in a permanent HHS facility is $290 a day but increases to $775 a day for those placed in temporary emergency facilities “due to the need to develop facilities quickly and hire significant staff over a short period of time.”
“Since we do not know the timing of when and if additional [temporary and emergency sites] will be needed and we don’t know how many children may use them, it is hard to predict final costs,” HHS states.
Republican House members estimate costs to taxpayers for housing unaccompanied minors are roughly $60 million a week, The Washington Post reported.
California foster parents asked to take unaccompanied migrant children AUTHOR:
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