Based on an exclusive report by Axios that found the “U.S. government has lost contact with thousands of migrant children released from its custody”, Joe Scarborough, the co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC, stated that the situation at the Southern Border will become a bigger issue in next year’s midterm elections than Afghanistan.
“The Southern Border will play a much larger role in next year’s midterms than Afghanistan. The situation seems to be getting more chaotic by the day. The President should appoint Jeh Johnson and Jeb Bush to bring order to the situation and end the humanitarian crisis there,” tweeted Scarborough.
The Axios report based on data from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request found that roughly one-in-three calls made to released migrant kids or their sponsors between January and May went unanswered, raising questions about the government’s ability to protect minors after they’re released to family members or others in the U.S.
“This is very dismaying,” said Mark Greenberg, who oversaw the unaccompanied minors program during the Obama administration and was briefed on Axios’ findings. “If large numbers of children and sponsors aren’t being reached, that’s a very big gap in efforts to help them.”
The numbers indicate that during the first five months of the year, care providers made 14,600 required calls to check in with migrant minors released from shelters run by the Department of Health and Human Services. These minors typically were taken in by relatives or other vetted sponsors.
In 4,890 of those instances, workers were unable to reach either the migrant or the sponsor. The percentage of unsuccessful calls grew, from 26% in January to 37% in May, the data provided to Axios showed.