Revealed: Where 37,000 illegal immigrant children have been released to ‘guardians’ across America – and where the feds are hiding tens of thousands more
- 37,477 illegal immigrant children were handed over to relatives or other ‘guardians’ this year in 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands
- US government says 66,127 were apprehended so far, leaving tens of thousands languishing in 116 temporary shelters across 16 states
- The Obama administration is stonewalling Freedom Of Information Act requests for information about contracts it issues to run the facilities
- One Texas charity has received more than $280 million this year in federal funds to house the children, mostly from Central American countries
The federal government has sent more than 37,000 illegal immigrant children to adults in every part of the U.S. who claimed to be their guardians during the first seven months of 2014, data from the Department of Health and Human Services show.
But tens of thousands more are languishing in 116 shelters operated with taxpayer dollars in at least 16 states.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says more than 66,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended after crossing the border illegally between October 1, 2013 and the end of this August – an 88 per cent increase over the last fiscal year with one month left to go.
HHS released more than 56 per cent of the children to family members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands between January and July, according to information the agency sent MailOnline and shown in a map below.
In addition to the 116 shelters housing the rest, an estimated 28,000 kids, the feds have also proposed to open another 46 shelters in 27 states to help cope with the influx.
The crisis has stemmed from an unprecedented flood of underage would-be Americans, often fleeing violence in Central America and drawn by the lure of a White House eager to mainstream them.
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Not surprisingly, Texans absorbed the largest share of illegal immigrant children this year — but all 50 states are represented and even Virginia has found itself with more than 2,800 unexpected new school pupils
Deluge: Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children this year have snuck across the border into the US, where they are caught, processed in holding facilities (pictured), and then either released to relatives or kept in longer-term shelters
Tempers: A pro-immigration protester shouted at President Obama (lower left) on Monday during a labor union rally in Wisconsin
Adult relatives can claim the children from the temporary shelters run by private agencies but funded through taxpayer dollars. HHS doesn’t take any action to determine whether those claiming the minors are themselves in the United States legally.
The Los Angeles Times reported in August that the Department of Homeland Security had deported just 294 Central Americans from among the tens of thousands stretching American hospitality to its breaking point.
Meanwhile HHS, through its ‘unaccompanied alien children’ program, sent 50 or more children and teens to live with ‘guardians’ in at least 128 U.S. counties.
Adding to the complicated picture, the Federation for American Immigration Reform reported this week that HHS data indicate taxpayers will cover $761 million in expenses related to educating children placed in those counties.
Few are fluent in English, and in some cases the flood of new students has overwhelmed already-crowded classrooms.
This map from NumbersUSA, an ‘immigration-reduction’ group, uses red ‘warning’ triangles for existing shelters yellow map pins for proposed new shelters, and blue push-pins to show where communities have beaten back federal government plans to open new facilities