Southwest Key’s Hacienda del Sol shelter was shut down last Friday, but federal officials did not reveal the reason behind the closure until Tuesday.
The revelation echoes an admission in April by the Department of Health and Human Services that the government had similarly lost track of an additional 1,475 migrant children it had moved out of shelters last year.
A few times a month, San Francisco’s immigration court becomes a day-care center of sorts. Toys, stuffed animals, and coloring books decorate the waiting room. Children as young as four years old have come here not to play, but to stand in front of an immigration judge and defend themselves against deportation.
Facing heated questions from a Senate subcommittee, officials from the Health and Human Services Department, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the federal immigration courts each said they were not responsible for following up after the children are handed over to sponsors, most of whom are undocumented relatives or family friends.
The United States government’s system for undocumented migrant children picked up at the border is designed to handle them until they turn 18. But once they do, they’re out on their own — and, potentially, back into the hands of immigrant agents ready to detain, prosecute, and deport them.
Military bases in Texas and Arkansas will begin housing tens of thousands of migrant children caught crossing the border illegally as soon as next month, the Pentagon said Thursday.