The Health and Human Services Department has confirmed to Senate staffers that the agency has lost track of 1,488 immigrant children, the Huffington Post reports. This announcement comes after the federal agency previously admitted at a Senate hearing late last year that it lost track of 1,475 children. This means the blunder has happened twice in less than a year. 

These missing children are unaccompanied minors transferred from immigration shelters to foster homes between April and June of 2018. After transferring the children, the department is supposed to check in with them to make sure they are alright. However, these check-ins are now impossible. 

The 1,488 lost children account for 13 percent of all children transferred from ICE care to foster homes.

On Tuesday, Senate subcommittee members proposed bipartisan legislation that will require HHS to take increased responsibility for the migrant children's care, including after they're released from custody. The bill would make sure HHS takes more effective measures to prevent abuse, running background checks on sponsors prior to placing children with them and notifying state governments prior to sending children to said states.

“The fact that HHS, which placed these unaccompanied minors with sponsors, doesn’t know the whereabouts of nearly 1,500 of them is very troubling,” noted Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. “Many of these kids are vulnerable to trafficking and abuse, and to not take responsibility for their safety is unacceptable.”

“The already challenging reality migrant children face is being made even more difficult and, too often, more dangerous,” said Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delaware. “This simply doesn’t have to be the case and, as this legislation demonstrates, the solutions don’t have to be partisan.”

According to CBS News, HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley denies reports declaring the children as "lost," noting, "Their sponsors, who are usually parents or family members, and in all cases have been vetted for criminality and ability to provide for them, simply did not respond or could not be reached when this voluntary call was made."

Now, check these out: 

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