Rep. Shalala’s Statement on the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General’s Report on Traumatizing Conditions for Unaccompanied Minors in Custody at ORR Facilities

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Rep. Shalala updates Florida’s 27th on her first month in Congress
Donna E. Shalala

U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala (FL-27) released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General releasing two reports detailing the extreme negligence at facilities that cared for unaccompanied children who migrated to the United States:

“The information in these reports is equal parts heartbreaking and horrifying. The reports detail how the administration hired staff to look after these children who did not have the proper training nor education, and many of the ORR facilities were critically understaffed. Worse yet, the Administration admits that it knowingly put children in the care of people who did not pass necessary background checks that screen potential employees for histories of child abuse and child neglect.”

“Moreover, the reports make clear what we have long known about the administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy: children who were separated from their families experienced ‘more fear, feelings of abandonment, and post-traumatic stress’ than children who were not separated. This will be remembered as a shameful chapter in the history of our country.”

“While I commend the Office of Inspector General for preparing these reports and including recommendations on how to improve conditions, I will to continue to monitor the actions of the Office of Refugee Resettlement to ensure that it implements these proposed reforms immediately.”


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