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Sen. Cruz: HHS Must Properly Care for Unaccompanied Children In Its Custody

Sends letter to agency regarding its treatment of unaccompanied minors

April 1, 2015

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202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell on Tuesday requesting more information about current procedures providing for the health and safety of unaccompanied children who have been entrusted to the Department’s care.

“Last year the nation witnessed a humanitarian crisis at the border that was a direct consequence of President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional amnesty,” said Sen. Cruz. “We know that violent criminals, drug cartels, and sex traffickers are bringing minors across the border, and are putting little boys and little girls in grave danger.

“The United States has taken on the responsibility of ensuring that once children are on American soil they are protected. New information, however, suggest an ongoing failure to investigate serious allegations relating to the care of children, including and not limited to, sexual abuse, poor screening processes that have allowed non-minors and gang members to be processed as innocent minors, and inadequate post-release monitoring of minors.  We are asking the Department of Health and Human Services for important information about its actions and obligations, and we owe it to these children to get answers.”

The letter includes requests that the HHS: 

  • Preserve important documents and communication to record the treatment of unaccompanied children.
  • Provide details about the number of Incident Reports that suggests some are being harmed and possibly even sexually abused, or forced into gang-related or drug activity.
  • Clarify the process for keeping records of Incident Reports.
  • Expound upon the Department’s rules and procedures on protecting unaccompanied minors, and ensuring they are transferred to family or properly vetted legitimate guardians.  

 

See the full text of the letter here.

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