McCain Pushes Amber Alert Bill
U.S. Senator John McCain is sponsoring legislation that would make tribes eligible to receive Amber Alert funds.
States already receive federal funds for these emergency alerts, but tribes had been left out of the loop.
Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows that nearly 7,800 Native American children are considered missing in the U.S., McCain said in a press release.
“We must give Indian tribes the tools they need to help our children and put an end to this tragedy,” McCain said.
Emphasizing the need for the bill, McCain noted the tragedy of Ashlynne Mike, the 11-year-old Navajo girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered on the Navajo Nation nearly a year ago.
The lack of an Amber Alert system on the Navajo Nation is considered to have played a role in the tragedy. Several hours went by before the tribe was able to get an Amber Alert out through New Mexico law enforcement agencies.
In fact, New Mexico officers made contact with the man eventually charged in the crime but released him because of a lack of information.
“McCain’s bill would allow the tribe to oversee and manage critical Amber Alerts,” Navajo Nation Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty said.
“We have to implement the best system possible for the protection and accountability of our Navajo children,” she added.
Recognizing that money is often tight among tribes, McCain’s bill would waive the 50-percent funding match required to obtain the Amber Alert grant.