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EXCLUSIVE Dozens of Migrant Children Reported Missing in Houston, Raising Alarms

Federal and local officials are scrambling to locate close to a dozen unaccompanied migrant children, after Houston police raised concerns about a trend of migrant children reported missing in the Texas city, according to U.S. government officials and related emails reviewed by Reuters.

The cases underscore the challenges for U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration as it faces a record number of unaccompanied kids arriving at the southwest border it must safely and quickly release to sponsors in the United States.

Mario Bruzzone, a senior policy adviser at the Women’s Refugee Commission, which advocates for unaccompanied children, said in some cases, sponsor relationships can break down after a honeymoon period following reunification.

Kids may have conflicts and run away due to trauma experienced in home countries or en route to the United States, he said. Runaways tend to be “an unfortunate part of this world of child welfare work,” he said.

“There’s a real tension here in terms of how we do releases,” Bruzzone said. “For child welfare reasons, we want to make sure that they can get to homes as fast as possible, while we’re also doing the screening necessary to ensure that the homes they are going to are safe and stable.”

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