Thursday, October 9, 2014

Where are the Children?

Is the Unaccompanied Alien Children's program mostly happening under the public radar? 

Many citizens and elected state and local officials may be unaware. It appears the Obama Administration has been dispersing these children throughout the country without informing state and local officials as reported here.  

Office of Refugee Settlement is a huge agency under the massive HHS where the Unaccompanied Children’s Services (and Obamacare) are found. 
Unaccompanied Alien Children's Program
The Unaccompanied Alien Children program has an appropriation by Congress which was at a level for FY 2014 of $868 million.

Apparently $868 million was not enough as this Wall Street Journal article reports:
As the flow of children surged, the resettlement agency in June notified Congress that it had to divert $94 million from refugee programs to the minors' program.
The Feds are diverting more tax dollars from other funded programs to the Unaccompanied Alien Children's (UAC) program. Maybe it is legal to divert monies within HHS but are any other monies being diverted into this program? What is the total cost? The UAC program should be audited. Where's the money going and where is it all coming from?

The Patriot Post reports the Obama Administration, via a recent memorandum to the State Department, will allow some of these children's status to be changed to Refugee in 2015.
In 2015, the unaccompanied alien children from Central America crossing into the United States will be eligible for refugee status, the first time this designation has been given to those leaving nations in North or South America.
The HHS website provides data below regarding unaccompanied children released to sponsors by state and by county and total UAC referrals over the last decade.
When a child who is not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian is apprehended by immigration authorities, the child is transferred to the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Federal law requires that ORR feed, shelter, and provide medical care for unaccompanied children until it is able to release them to safe settings with sponsors (usually family members), while they await immigration proceedings. These sponsors live in many states.
Unaccompanied Children release data from January 1st to August 31st


FLBroward County398
FLCollier County180
FLDuval County155
FLHillsborough County161
FLLee County275
FLManatee County63
FLMartin County98
FLMiami-Dade County1,248
FLOrange County244
FLPalm Beach County891
FLSeminole County50
FLSt. Lucie County53

UAC Referrals
The US Department of Education provides this information:
All children in the United States are entitled to equal access to a public elementary and secondary education, regardless of their or their parents' actual or perceived national origin, citizenship, or immigration status. This includes recently arrived unaccompanied children, who are in immigration proceedings while residing in local communities with a parent, family member, or other appropriate adult sponsor.
Under the law, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is required to care for unaccompanied children apprehended while crossing the border. While in care at an HHS shelter, such children are not enrolled in local schools but do receive educational services and other care from providers who run HHS shelters.

Recently arrived unaccompanied children are later released from federal custody to an appropriate sponsor – usually a parent, relative, or family friend – who can safely and appropriately care for them while their immigration cases proceed. While residing with a sponsor, these children have a right under federal law to enroll in public elementary and secondary schools in their local communities and to benefit from educational services, as do all children in the U.S.

These children are enrolling in our schools as reported here:
Children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are now enrolling in local schools. 
"Normally we need a birth certificate. We need a Social (Security card). We need all of that," explained Ida Garcia, the director of intake and attendance at the Donna Independent School District. 
She said instead students are providing notarized letters, which identify them as refugees (emphasis mine). Garcia added parents of the children are giving custody to a relative in the U.S 
Donna ISD is now one of the school districts scrambling to make changes for the new students. Garcia told CHANNEL 5 NEWS programs are being adjusted for them. She explained the changes are similar to a revamped bilingual program.
While some of these children's status is being changed to Refugee, others are having their status changed to "Homeless". What does a status change mean? This is an astounding article about a memo issued by the Virginia Department of Education.
The memo to Virginia’s school divisions stressed the need to provide all children “equal access to an education” and highlighted the updated guidance from the Obama administration providing more flexibility on the documentation students need to enroll in public schools. 
According to the memo, under federal and Virginia law, the state expects that many of the unaccompanied minors who enroll in public school will be considered “homeless.” 
Guidance released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education about the unaccompanied minors also pointed out that unaccompanied minors in the custody of sponsors could be eligible for benefits under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. 
Monday’s guidance from the Education Department reads:Under McKinney-Vento, school districts must appoint a local liaison to ensure, among other things, that (1) children and youth eligible under McKinney Vento are identified; (2) that they immediately enroll in, and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in, the schools of the district; and (3) they receive educational services for which they are eligible, and referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health services, and other appropriate services. 
The VDOE memo reiterated the requirement that school divisions “must immediately enroll homeless students” and must do so regardless of whether or not they are able “to produce the records required for enrollment.”  
“In addition, division superintendents cannot exclude from school attendance those homeless children who do not provide the requisite health or immunization information required of other students,” the memo continued (emphasis mine). “School divisions must immediately refer the student to the school division liaison required to assist the student in obtaining necessary physical examinations or proof of completion of immunizations.”
Even some enrolling appear to be adults posing as unaccompanied alien children as reported here.

While all the attention is currently on Ebola, there's been one death of Ebola, an adult who was infected in Africa. However, we are seeing hundreds of cases of respiratory viruses across the country, especially in school aged children. Sheryl Attkisson reports about the polio-like enterovirus that at least five children have died from.
..a study published in Virology Journal, found EV-D68 among some of the 3,375 young, ill people tested in eight Latin American countries, including the Central American nations of El Salvador and Nicaragua, in 2013. (See Fig. 3)
Though the U.S. government is keeping secret the locations of the illegal immigrant children, there are significant numbers of them in both cities in which the current outbreak was first identified, Kansas City, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois, according to local advocates and press reports.
Is anyone investigating if there is a true cause and effect? We should be concerned locally because we now have the first Enterovirus case in Florida.

This DHS memo regarding Oversight of Unaccompanied Children dated July 30, 2014 reported unsanitary conditions and communicable diseases where these children have been temporarily housed. These children have now been dispersed around the country and to Florida.
Observations where unaccompanied alien children
 temporarily housed
If you think this is disturbing, more to come.

Definitely more questions than answers.

No comments:

Post a Comment