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HHS sued for documents related to child separation policy

HHS sued for documents related to child separation policy
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A government watchdog on Tuesday sued the Trump administration for documents related to migrant children being separated from their families at the U.S. border. 

Equity Forward, which describes itself as a reproductive health watchdog group, filed a lawsuit after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) failed to respond to four Freedom of Information Act requests, the first being filed in January.

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The group requested public information including the schedules of HHS officials involved with separated children, communications involving the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the HHS office in charge of the separated children, and communications between ORR Director Scott Lloyd and outside groups that may have influenced the treatment of children in his care. 

HHS has not provided any of the information requested, Equity Forward said. 

“Separating children from their families at the border is inhumane and cruel, and HHS has refused to show transparency with the decision making that has affected the lives of thousands of children and their families,” said Equity Forward executive director Mary Alice Carter. 

“The public deserves to know how HHS’ senior leaders conducted themselves leading up to the manufactured crisis our country is now experiencing. HHS has refused to come forward and say what happened, so we’re going to court to get the information.”

Equity Forward is also targeting Lloyd in full-page ads in The New York Times, Politico and Northern Virginia Daily.

Lloyd is the point person on separated children, but he has not made any public appearances or statements since early April, Equity Forward says. 

"Refugee Czar Scott Lloyd has gone MIA," the ad reads. 

"He must be around here somewhere. There's a crisis at the border. More than 2,300 children have been separated from their families. And at the peak of the crisis the man in charge was nowhere to be found." 

The ad continues: "We need leadership. We need a reunification plan."