Biden admin placed unaccompanied immigrant children in ‘unregulated and unsafe’ living conditions: Report

Jul 8, 2024 | U.S. | 0 comments

The Biden administration placed unaccompanied immigrant minors in homes that were not deemed safe by caseworkers, according to a Monday report from the Wall Street Journal.

The news outlet found that the administration “repeatedly overrode the concerns of lower-level workers,” placing children with guardians who had previously been rejected.

In the first eight months of fiscal year 2024, there were more than 83,000 unaccompanied minor encounters nationwide, according to Customs and Border Protection data.

Two sources told the WSJ that emergency shelter caseworkers under the Biden administration have been instructed to place children in a home within 10 to 14 days.

As a result of the pressure to move children through the system as quickly as possible, some minors were placed in homes with ties to criminal activity, the report stated.

One child was moved to a “hostel-like” Florida home with three or more adults even after a caseworker recommended against it, according to internal government memos reviewed by the WSJ.

“It does not appear safe for the minor to be released to a home environment that was not fully assessed,” the caseworker wrote. Those concerns were ultimately ignored.

Many of the denial reversals initiated by the Biden administration provided little detail as to why the guardians were later approved, the news outlet stated.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services told the WSJ it cannot comment on individual cases but added, “Child welfare best-practices are clear that children belong with family and not in shelters.”

The HHS oversaw a network of shelters that provided care to the unaccompanied minors.

An HHS Office of Inspector General report published earlier this year found “gaps” in the department’s guardian screening process, Blaze News previously reported.

“In 16 percent of children’s case files, one or more required sponsor safety checks lacked any documentation indicating that the checkers were conducted,” the OIG report stated. “For 19 percent of children who were released to sponsors with pending FBI fingerprint or State child abuse and neglect registry checks, children’s case files were never updated with the results.”

Neha Desai, the senior director of immigration at the National Center for Youth Law, told the news outlet, “Although well-intentioned, these sites were unregulated and unsafe.”

“There was enormous pressure placed on the sites to rapidly release children from custody,” she added.

In one instance, caseworkers found allegedly different sponsors residing at multiple addresses with ties to the same individual, the news outlet reported. Supervisors warned that it could be an indicator that the sponsor is recruiting children for labor trafficking.

One senior HHS official told the WSJ, “We’re in a completely different place than we were when we started.”

“We were stuck with what we had when we started on day one, which unfortunately did not set us up to be able to meet the challenges that we faced in 2021,” the official remarked.

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The Biden administration placed unaccompanied immigrant minors in homes that were not deemed safe by caseworkers, according to a Monday report from the Wall Street Journal.The news outlet found that the administration “repeatedly overrode the concerns of lower-level workers,” placing children with guardians who had previously been rejected.In the first eight months of fiscal year 2024, there were more than 83,000 unaccompanied minor encounters nationwide, according to Customs and Border Protection data.Two sources told the WSJ that emergency shelter caseworkers under the Biden administration have been instructed to place children in a home within 10 to 14 days.As a result of the pressure to move children through the system as quickly as possible, some minors were placed in homes with ties to criminal activity, the report stated.One child was moved to a “hostel-like” Florida home with three or more adults even after a caseworker recommended against it, according to internal government memos reviewed by the WSJ.”It does not appear safe for the minor to be released to a home environment that was not fully assessed,” the caseworker wrote. Those concerns were ultimately ignored.Many of the denial reversals initiated by the Biden administration provided little detail as to why the guardians were later approved, the news outlet stated.The United States Department of Health and Human Services told the WSJ it cannot comment on individual cases but added, “Child welfare best-practices are clear that children belong with family and not in shelters.”The HHS oversaw a network of shelters that provided care to the unaccompanied minors.An HHS Office of Inspector General report published earlier this year found “gaps” in the department’s guardian screening process, Blaze News previously reported.”In 16 percent of children’s case files, one or more required sponsor safety checks lacked any documentation indicating that the checkers were conducted,” the OIG report stated. “For 19 percent of children who were released to sponsors with pending FBI fingerprint or State child abuse and neglect registry checks, children’s case files were never updated with the results.”Neha Desai, the senior director of immigration at the National Center for Youth Law, told the news outlet, “Although well-intentioned, these sites were unregulated and unsafe.””There was enormous pressure placed on the sites to rapidly release children from custody,” she added.In one instance, caseworkers found allegedly different sponsors residing at multiple addresses with ties to the same individual, the news outlet reported. Supervisors warned that it could be an indicator that the sponsor is recruiting children for labor trafficking. One senior HHS official told the WSJ, “We’re in a completely different place than we were when we started.””We were stuck with what we had when we started on day one, which unfortunately did not set us up to be able to meet the challenges that we faced in 2021,” the official remarked.Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here![#item_full_content]

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