Republican senators asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study whether the government could handle the influx of child immigrants seeking refugee status.
Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchLobbying world Congress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears MORE (R-Utah) and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnBiden and AOC's reckless spending plans are a threat to the planet NSF funding choice: Move forward or fall behind DHS establishes domestic terror unit within its intelligence office MORE (R-Okla.) asked the GAO to review policies of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the agency charged with caring for unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border until the conclusion of their immigration hearings.
“The increase in the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border has strained the capacity of ORR and its grantees to provide them with appropriate accommodations and has raised questions about ORR’s management and oversight of the program,” the senators wrote. “It’s unclear if a strategy has been formulated to deal with the impending surge.”
Thousands of children have fled Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala seeking refugee status in the United States. Some lawmakers have proposed immediately deporting children from Central America without an asylum hearing.
The senators questioned whether the government could accommodate another surge of unaccompanied minors. Some of the children are being released to relatives within the United States, but the GOP senators said they have concerns about the screening process for sponsors.
“The agency is responsible for the well-being of these children, yet there’s question about whether custodians and grantees are adequately being overseen once a child leaves federal custody,” the senators wrote to GAO comptroller Gene Dodaro.