Friday, April 19, 2024
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Illegal Immigration Burdens America’s Foster Care System

An influx of illegal alien children at the southern border jeopardizes America’s already overburdened foster care system.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO-08) wants U.S. Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Christi Grimm, to investigate.

“In 2023, the Customs and Border Patrol reported a staggering influx of over 137,628 unaccompanied children crossing the border, which reflects an 83 percent increase compared to 2019. The peak of this surge occurred in August, with an unprecedented 14,259 unaccompanied children crossing in a single month, Smith said in a letter to Grimm.

“Governors and state leaders across the country have raised alarms about the Biden Administration’s efforts to find housing for unaccompanied alien children by aggressively recruiting from limited foster homes available to provide safe and loving homes to the nearly 400,000 children and youth in America’s child welfare system.”

Among the governors are Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, and Kim Reynolds of Iowa.

Smith said the U.S. foster care system has a nationwide shortage of foster homes. Since 2018, there has been an average decline of six percent of available foster parents each year. Some states, such as South Carolina, report a 61 percent decline in licensed foster homes. This, despite a growing number of children entering care, Smith said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic only further strained these limited resources, resulting in a decline in licensed foster parents and an increased demand for child welfare services,” Smith said.

“This shortage has resulted in American children sleeping in jails, emergency rooms, caseworker offices, hotels, and other unlicensed placements. Federal and state resources are limited. States are working tirelessly to expand their capacity to support the children already in their care. The surge of unaccompanied children at the border is compounding these challenges. This diverts vital resources-shelters, foster parents, and state workers-due to an uncontrolled border.”

Special thanks to Warhammer’s Wife proofreading this story before publication to make certain there were no misspellings, grammatical errors or other embarrassing mistakes and/or typosFollow Warhammer on Twitter @Real_Warhammer