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DeLauro Statement on New HHS OIG Reports on Family Separation

March 5, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC  (March 5, 2020) Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today released the following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a new report on HHS’s response to the President’s zero-tolerance policy, which led to widespread family separations.

“Today’s OIG report details the failure of humanity to triumph over the President’s cruel policy of government-sanctioned child abuse. The OIG found that senior officials within HHS at the time of the family separation policy—including the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Administration for Children and Families, and the Counselor to the Secretary for Human Services Policy—failed to act despite repeated warnings from staff who were witnessing the trauma being inflicted on kids due to family separation. Instead of being proactive and pushing back as the Trump administration tried to turn HHS into an immigration enforcement agency, top officials within HHS allowed themselves to compound the problem of family separation, which lead to delays in reunification and unspeakable, long-term effects on children and families.”

“The mission of ORR is to place children into sponsor’s care as safely and expeditiously as possible. This report shows they have failed to uphold that mission. President Trump has put kids’ lives at-risk due to his dangerous policies, and Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle must work to protect them as we provide funding for HHS for the next fiscal year.”