HHS: Nearly 40 Migrant Children Test Positive for Coronavirus at Chicago Shelter

Immigrant children play outside a former Job Corps site that now houses them, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Homestead, Fla. It is not known if the children crossed the border as unaccompanied minors or were separated from family members. Wrenching scenes of migrant children being separated from their parents at …
AP File Photo: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

China’s Wuhan virus has spread to almost 40 migrant youths and children who are being sheltered by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to news services.

“On Tuesday, Heartland [Human Care Services] officials said that the number of immigrant children in their care who had tested positive for COVID-19 had nearly doubled, from 19 to 37,” said a report in ProPublica, a donor-support news service. The report continued:

Of those, 28 were asymptomatic at the time of the testing, the agency said. “To our knowledge, there’s not an increase in staff cases,” a spokeswoman for the organization said. “We are working hard to obtain testing for staff, too.”

The Heartland group is one of several groups that operate shelters for migrant youths and children, under contracts from DHHS.

The report did not say any of the children were harmed by the disease. Worldwide, governments report that very few children have been sickened or killed by the disease that escaped from China.

The ProPublica site also reported that officials in HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement said that “there were also 39 ‘self-reports’ of positive COVID-19 tests among personnel affiliated with shelter programs in six states.”

The reports come as pro-migration advocates are asking judges to force the release of illegal migrants as well as the so-called “Unaccompanied Alien Children” (UAC) who are traveling from Central American to their illegal-immigrant parents now living in the United States.

Roughly 2,500 youths and children are being sheltered at HHS hostels, before their likely turnover to their parents. But administration officials are also trying to continue the asylum hearings for the youths and children, which allow officials to send some of them back to their home countries.

In March and April, the northward flow of UACs has largely been blocked by border agencies, following President Donald Trump’s “Title 42” decision to protect Americans by minimizing border traffic. In response, Democrat legislators are pressuring the agencies to reopen the migrant process.

Since 2011, the UAC process has been used by illegal immigrant parents to deliver roughly 350,000 youths and children to their illegal immigrant parents in the United States. Officials say the process is mandated by a 2008 law.

This UAC process helps migrants take jobs in Americans’ blue-collar workplaces, rent apartments in neighborhoods, and send their children into Americans’ schools.

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