How Did U.S. Officials Place Guatemalan Boys With Human Traffickers?


“Based on what I’ve learned to date, I am concerned that the child placement process failure that contributed to the Ohio trafficking case is part of a systemic problem rather than a one-off incident,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), chairman of the Senate’s permanent subcommittee on investigations. “We continue to demand answers from the administration with the goal of uncovering how this abuse occurred and reforming the system to protect all minors against human trafficking.” The Border Patrol turns over unaccompanied minors to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which places them at shelters, then with parents, relatives or other qualified sponsors. Advocates for immigrants complain that the sponsor system lacks much-needed oversight and follow-up, and that problems worsened with an influx of 68,500 unaccompanied minors mostly from Central America across the southern border last year.

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