Rick Santorum: Migrant children the government lost track of aren't lost

Rick Santorum said Sunday that the roughly 1,500 migrant children whom the government has lost track of aren’t lost.

During a panel discussion on CNN’s "State of the Union," the former GOP senator from Pennsylvania claimed that the children are not missing just because the government doesn't currently know where they are.

“They were placed in vetted homes,” Santorum said of the children. “The question is, they haven’t had communication with these previously vetted sponsors. Does that mean that they’re lost? No.”

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“That means there’s a process going on right now to try and find why these sponsors haven’t checked back in to give us their location,” he said.

Department of Health and Human Services officials told Congress last month that they had lost track of nearly 1,500 unaccompanied migrant children who had been placed with adult sponsors.

Santorum said on Sunday that 100 percent of the sponsors are “never” going to check in about their location and the children placed with them.

“I think the idea that they’re ‘lost’ is hyperbole to try and create an issue where I don’t really think there is one,” Santorum said. “Other than the fact that the bureaucracy — surprise, surprise — doesn’t work very well.”

“If you think 1,500 children being lost is not an issue, then there’s something definitely wrong,” fellow panelist and former Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding Hillary Clinton slams Trump for spreading 'sexist trash' about Pelosi Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign MORE campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle interjected.

“The government has said that they’ve lost track of them, that’s another word for lost,” Solis Doyle added.

“That doesn’t mean that these kids are out there — there are logical explanations, and again we’re talking about a government system,” Santorum replied. “And you all know Bill [Kristol] and I will sit here forever and tell you how inadequate a lot of these government agencies are at doing a lot of things. I mean, we lose people all the time in a lot of other government programs.”