The Hashtag #WhereAreTheChildren became a trend in the United States during this weekend attracting thousands of tweets. It is a campaign for the plight of more than a thousand missing children who were allegedly handed over to caregivers after arriving alone at the border with Mexico. So far, there is no record of these children.
The lack of information on the location of hundreds of undocumented children who came alone to the Mexican border this weekend caused a wave of outrage on social networks, whose users, including celebrities and politicians. The social media campaign spread like a wild fire after reports that indicated that some of the children could have fallen in the hands of drug traffickers.
The campaign asks the US government to locate almost 1,500 underage immigrants who were arrested at the border and then allegedly handed over to caretaker families. However, their whereabouts are now unknown. Initially, the minors were placed in the custody of the authorities and handed to caregiver families after they had crossed the border, alone. Most of them came from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
According to an official from the Department of Health and Human Services, these children were trying to escape abuse and poverty. Steven Wagner of Children and Families Division told lawmakers that officials discovered that whereabouts of 1,475 children were lost when the Office of Refugee Resettlement made phone calls, in October 2017, to check the condition of these children.
Under a law passed by Congress and enacted by then-President George W. Bush in 2008, migrant minors who are not Mexicans, travelling alone and detained by the Border Patrol, are subject to special treatment.