Immigrant children sent to adults with no legal status

The vast majority of immigrant minors who arrived at the United States border unaccompanied by an adult tend to get sent to stay with adults who are themselves undocumented immigrants with no legal status, according to a review of federal data by the Associated Press.

The government has long acknowledged that it attempts to place such children with relatives and family friends regardless of their immigration status, but have not revealed just how many of these sponsors are undocumented immigrants ever since the mass influx of unaccompanied immigrant minors from Central America in 2014. The Department of Health and Human Services gave the data after a Freedom of Information request, and the data shows that of the 71,000 undocumented immigrant kids placed between February 2014 and September last year, most came from Central America and 80 percent were sent to live with adults with no legal status.

Six percent of the immigrant minors were sent to adults who have been granted temporary protected status, four percent were actually sponsored by those with US citizenship and one percent by immigrants who are still faced with their own deportation proceedings. Others were placed with adults who have put in immigration applications or already have some other kind of legal status.

Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte says he is unsurprised by the data and that the border surge has been created by current immigration policies.