State Department spokesperson Ned Price said “there are very few Afghan children currently arriving to the United States who are not accompanied by an adult known to them.”
“As soon as a minor child is identified as being without any trusted adult, we immediately begin working to reunite these identified minors with their families and with their loved ones,” Price said at a news briefing.
CNN reported earlier this week that at least 34 Afghan children who were evacuated arrived to the United States without parents, according to an administration official, although some have already been reunited with family in the country.
“Once they arrive to the continental United States, normal protocols for unaccompanied children apply. And in those cases CBP (US Customs and Border Protection) or another federal agency refers them to the Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS (the US Department of Health and Human Services) and HHS then works to find extended family or other appropriate sponsors to care for the child using established sponsor assessment procedures,” he said.
“Unaccompanied minors not immediately unified with an appropriate caregiver, are placed in culturally and age appropriate facilities. ORR – the Office of Refugee Resettlement – has identified sites that have Dari and Pashto speakers and that are culturally appropriate in addition to the standing resources we have for all unaccompanied minors," he said.
“Overseas, unaccompanied minors are referred to international organizations to assess their best interests and promote family reunification when that’s possible,” Price said. UNICEF is among those organizations.
Price declined to give a specific definition for who counts as “an adult known to” a minor.
Read more about the Afghans coming to the US here.