Nearly 1,500 Migrant Kids Are Missing & Twitter Is Asking "Where Are The Children?"

by Lani Seelinger
John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In late April, an official from the Department of Health and Human Services revealed that approximately 1,500 unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S. border who had been placed in homes were currently unaccounted for. Now, a month later, this is still true, and the barrage of "Where Are The Children" tweets show that this problem is very much still on the nation's mind.

The HHS admission that it didn't know where some of the children were was given to a Senate homeland security subcommittee, the New York Times reported. The Office of Refugee Resettlement had attempted to check in on the 7,635 children placed with sponsors, and while they managed to determine the whereabouts of the majority of them, there were still 1,475 who could not be accounted for, according to the Times.

This has raised fears that the children may have ended up with human traffickers or smugglers, or in otherwise dangerous situations, according to Mother Jones. And the loss of these children is a particularly salient issue now, as the Trump administration has supported policies that would separate more parents from their children, CNN reported.

The sponsors who the children end up with are usually close relatives of the children — but this is not always the case, according to CNN. That's where most of the fear stems from. Here are just some of the reactions from Twitter.


"If We Can't Stop This In America ..."

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro looked at the issue in an international sense — if the U.S. is powerless to prevent potential human trafficking within its own borders, it will have a very hard time doing it anywhere else.


"A Crime Against Humanity"

Doctor and columnist for The Hill Eugene Gu used very strong words, though there has not yet been any proof that any children have indeed ended up with human traffickers. So far, it's only a danger — and a likely outcome based on past occurrences, according to the New York Times.


Comparing To Boko Haram Kidnapping Girls

Islamic educator Qasim Rashid wrote that the U.S. government isn't alone in taking kids from their parents, but that it's not in good company in doing so.


"Blame Obama"

Writer Amee Vanderpool was referencing the fact that Trump had falsely blamed the policy of separating children from the parents on the Democrats.


A Comedic Criticism

Rick Santorum made the claim that the controversy was an overreaction and that it was just a problem of a malfunctioning bureaucracy.


Pinpointing The Cause

One Twitter user pointed out exactly who put the policy that led to this into place: Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions.


A Plan Of Action

Writer Glennon Doyle, who is married to celebrated retired soccer player Abby Wombach, tweeted about how she and Wombach are putting together a plan to start finding the missing children if lawmakers won't take action.


The Children's Best Friend

Woman and dog together, asking the question that needs to be asked.


A Literary Burn

California congressional candidate Jess Phoenix used a quote from Catcher in the Rye to criticize Trump for tweeting repeatedly about the Russia investigation while remaining silent about the missing children.


Kids Are Kids Are Kids

Many responses echoed versions of this sentiment — immigrant children are still children, and children should be looked after by the adults in whose custody they find themselves.


An Answer To The Horror

For anyone who finds themselves appalled by this situation, one Twitter user offered a very small part of a solution: the template of a letter to send to your senator or representative to ask that they please do something to rectify the situation.

It's troubling to think that the government could have made an oversight of this scale, and that there are so many children's lives at stake. The reactions on Twitter show that people are genuinely very worried — and there's very good reason for it.