UAC= Unaccompanied Alien Children
ORR Director Eskinder Negash has penned his last ‘Year in Review’ at the federal agency’s website.
According to Ryan Lovelace writing at National Review Online, Negash resigned his job on the eve of a Congressional hearing on the placement of Unaccompanied Alien Children in the wake of the border surge this past summer.
Here is how Negash’s letter introducing the ‘Year in Review’ begins. [This will be the first of several posts on the review that I plan to write, starting with this one about the “children.”–ed]
Dear colleagues and friends,
In FY2014, the United States welcomed refugees from 67 countries across the globe, and for the second year in a row, the highest admissions were from refugees from Iraq and Burma, accounting for more than 56,000 (81%) of all arrivals. Iraqi refugees continued to suffer from secondary displacement—and in some cases, tertiary displacement—as the civil war in Syria rages on.
For the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), two thousand fourteen was a historic year, with a mass influx of unaccompanied children from Central America that totaled close to 58,000 children by year’s end—more than twice the number received in FY2013, and nearly the sum of the previous five years combined.
This influx of children expanded the overall population served by ORR and its partners to approximately 185,000 new arrivals in Fiscal Year 2014, comprised of refugees and asylees, Special Immigrant Visa holders, Cuban/Haitian Entrants and Parolees, victims of Human Trafficking, and Unaccompanied Children (UC). [See Negash’s previous ‘Year in Review’ and note that we are up 40,000 or so “served” by ORR—ed]
From the more detailed report for 2014 (emphasis is mine):
In FY2014, the unanticipated rate and referral numbers of Unaccompanied Children (UC) surpassed program planning, physical capacity and staffing, and stretched funding authorization at an historic rate for the United States. In total, ORR placed 57,496 children in 124 facilities across 15 states. In May and June alone, ORR received 19,628 children for placement, representing 34% of the annual total for FY2014.
During the height of the summer influx, ORR coordinated with the Department of Defense (DoD) to utilize three DoD installations (Fort Sill in OK, Port Hueneme Naval Base in Ventura, CA, and Joint Base San Antonio (Lackland) in San Antonio, TX). ORR and its partners worked tirelessly throughout the summer influx, addressing emergent medical issues and implementing protocols to prevent backlogs in placements, to ensure that the children received appropriate medical screening and care. Faced with unprecedented numbers of children arriving at DHS border patrol stations faster than space could be found in the network to accommodate them, the team worked tirelessly and creatively around the clock to clear the backlogs at over-crowded border patrol stations, and move the children quickly and safely into appropriate shelter beds. ORR is grateful for the assistance of HHS, DHS, and the White House, and most importantly, to the Department of Defense which was instrumental in helping ORR attend to the critical protection needs of the children, by providing temporary shelter on the three bases.
In simple numbers,
~two-thirds of children referred to ORR in FY2014 were male
~21% were 12 years of age or younger [79% are teens—ed]
~96% of all referrals came from three countries: Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala
~Overall bed capacity increased by more than 70%
Looking ahead to FY2015, it is difficult to project how many children may arrive, but ORR staff and partners are working diligently to create surge capacity and medical plans; continue streamlining program policies and procedures; reform post-release and home study services; ensure adequate staffing and oversight, and remain flexible to accommodate seasonal patterns of referrals that are subject to change at any time.
Look for future posts on the ‘Review.’
Go here for all of our posts going back several years on ‘unaccompanied minors.’ By the way, first they were ‘unaccompanied minors,’ then ‘unaccompanied alien minors,’ then they became ‘unaccompanied alien children,’ and finally now ‘unaccompanied children’ as the political correctness police dropped the word “alien.” They are decidedly NOT refugees which is what Obama and the contractors are working really hard to make you believe.