DeLauro Statement on Ongoing ORR Supplemental Funding Negotiations
WASHINGTON, DC (June 5, 2019) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, today released the following statement regarding ongoing negotiations over supplemental funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“I am ready to ensure HHS has the funding it needs to care for unaccompanied children during this humanitarian crisis, but there must be proper protections in place to ensure these kids are well taken care of. That means kids need to be placed into state-licensed shelters, they should be safely and expeditiously discharged into sponsor’s care, and sponsors should feel free to come forward instead of being threatened with potential deportation.”
“Over the past two years, the Trump Administration has shown boundless cruelty—turning ORR into an immigration enforcement agency. That is not the mission of HHS nor an appropriate use of HHS resources, and Congress will not continue to allow it. Recent reports indicate the Administration has violated the Flores Agreement, which protects children from being detained for more than 20 days and sets standards for facilities they can be placed in. Many children have been waiting to be placed with relatives or sponsors for months. These failures have led to ‘irrevocable mental and physical harm’ according to lawyers and advocates fighting for these children’s rights. That is wrong, and we must immediately hold the Administration accountable to fix the situation. We cannot give this administration a blank check when time and again it has failed to show it has these children’s best interests at heart. Ensuring the resources we appropriate are used for their intended purpose and that there are proper legal protections for the kids in our care should not be up for debate.”