Houston: Investigations are underway over reports of missing or unaccompanied migrant youths brought by US federal officials to Houston, the largest city of Texas state bordering Mexico, police said.
The Houston Police Department (HPD) confirmed on Friday that it is “currently conducting investigations into reports of missing, unaccompanied juveniles resettled in Houston by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) with sponsors”, reports Xinhua news agency.
“As is customary when an individual is reported missing in Houston, the HPD Missing Persons Unit conducts a thorough investigation. Any inquiries into how the juveniles arrived or were placed in Houston should be directed to ORR,” the HPD said in a statement.
The ORR is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which also confirmed on Friday that both the ORR and the Houston police reported that “some minors and some 18-year-olds” placed with a vetted sponsor earlier by the ORR are no longer residing with those sponsors.
Under US law, the federal government has custody and must provide care for each unaccompanied child under 18 years old who has no lawful immigration status in the country.
The number of migrants detained by the US on the border with Mexico between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021 reached 1,734,686, a record high.
Meanwhile, Mexico has deported more than 114,000 illegal immigrants in 2021, and detained 115,379 between January 1 and April 13 of this year alone, according to government figures.