Samuel Case, FISM News
Amidst the ongoing border crisis, the Biden Administration has eased child protection for unaccompanied minors entering the country, opening the door to abuse and human trafficking, according to a report by the minority members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The report, titled “Federal Care of Unaccompanied Children: Minors Remain Vulnerable to Trafficking and Abuse,” shows the Biden administration “waived certain background check requirements for those to whom the Biden administration entrusts the care of unaccompanied children, requirements like public records and sex offender registry checks.”
The committee members also discovered a “50% reduction in digital fingerprinting of prospective sponsors.”
Ranking Committee member Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) reacted to the report in a statement:
I am stunned and disappointed that our report found that as the number of unaccompanied children entering the United States surged, the Biden administration reduced the protections for that vulnerable population. The failure to adopt the recommendations I’ve made in past reports, along with the decision by this administration to weaken protections for these children, opens the door for abuse and trafficking. We can and must do better. I call on the administration to implement the recommendations made in this report and acknowledge its responsibility for the care and safety of these children.
Among a list of recommendations to address the problem, the report urges Congress to pass the bipartisan “Responsibility for Unaccompanied Minors Act,” which the committee members say will clarify that the Department of Health and Human Services has “ongoing authority” to care for unaccompanied minors until the “child’s immigration proceedings conclude.” It also mandates “that HHS must do background checks on all potential sponsors and other adults in the household.”
The committee members argue “if a potential sponsor or member of the household refuses to comply with required background checks, HHS should prohibit additional consideration of the release of a child into the sponsor’s custody.”