Miyares demands Biden address missing migrant children crisis


(The Center Square) – Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares wants the Biden administration to act on “the missing migrant children crisis,” claiming the administration ignores the problem.

In a letter addressed to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Miyares raised concerns over the “welfare and safety” of unaccompanied minors that he argues are not being “prioritized” by the Biden administration.

Miyares is “demanding” more “coordination” between local, state and federal authorities to address what he describes as a “horrifying problem.” One of those issues, he said, is that local and state governments aren’t notified when a migrant child is placed in their jurisdiction.

“The federal government has lost track of 85,000 migrant children. This is unacceptable. Local law enforcement cannot protect and ensure the well-being of children they don’t know exist,” said Miyares.

In a video posted to social media, the attorney general blasted the Biden administration and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, or ORR, for failing to notify local and state law enforcement when migrant children are “settled” in localities, warning the children “are now possibly being exploited for human trafficking.”

“We have over 22 missing children just in the county of Culpeper alone. Where are missing kids? Mr. President? Why are you not contacting and working with local law enforcement and state officials? And why are you setting these children up to be exploited so easily by human traffickers and organizations like MS-13? We need answers,” Miyares lamented in his video post.

In the letter, Miyares calls on the ORR to revise its policies to “include the immediate notification of child placements with local governments;” the “safety status of existing unaccompanied minors” in the commonwealth; and allow the Office of the Attorney General to access sponsor data, including sponsors’ criminal history.

Miyares isn’t the first to sound the alarm on the threat to unaccompanied migrant children.

Last fall, a group of Democratic U.S. Senators introduced legislation to “provide a comprehensive framework to reform the federal government’s care and custody” of unaccompanied migrant children. The legislation would address gaps in the system to improve safeguards for unaccompanied migrant children released from government custody.

“Our current laws on the books require that these children are screened for human trafficking, housed in child-appropriate settings, and reunified with family in the United States while they await their immigration proceedings,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL. “But the tragedy is that these children are still at risk. Congress has an obligation to ensure the health and safety of these kids—we must do better to protect them.”

Miyares noted in in the “Fiscal Year 2022, the Department of Homeland Security referred nearly 129,000 unaccompanied alien children to ORR compared to roughly 15,000 in Fiscal Year 2020, just two years earlier.”

Submit a Comment