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Administration Must Ensure Children’s Safety

WASHINGTON D.C. — A newly released report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General indicates that in a significant percentage of cases in 2021, HHS did not properly vet or follow up with sponsors for unaccompanied migrant children, or document its work.

The agency says it has since improved. It faced similar criticisms a year ago amid reports of migrant children working dangerous jobs, in violation of child labor laws.

“Protecting children must remain paramount,” said Jennie Murray, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “HHS and the Biden administration more broadly must take these findings seriously and do everything in their power to ensure that children are safe. 

“Congress should support these efforts not only by exercising oversight, but also by providing additional resources to ensure that agencies are adequately funded to screen sponsors and act in the best interest of children.” The new report is available online.

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