Trump’s top refugee official takes new job at HHS

Scott Lloyd, the controversial Trump administration official in charge of refugee children at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is taking on a new role at the agency.

Lloyd, who joined HHS in March 2017 as director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), is leaving that post to serve as a senior adviser at the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives.

{mosads}”While I have valued my time at the Office of Refugee Resettlement, I am excited to take on this new challenge,” Lloyd said in a statement through HHS.

The agency said he started the new job on Monday.

Lloyd’s tenure at the ORR had been a tumultuous one.

ORR oversaw the care of migrant children who were separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border under the administration’s short-lived “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

He also faced scrutiny and outrage from abortion rights groups and congressional Democrats for his role in blocking unaccompanied minors in federal custody from getting abortions.

Between March and Dec. 19 of last year, Lloyd denied seven requests for abortions, according to depositions released by the ACLU in February, including for a minor who was raped.

A federal judge has since ordered that HHS must allow minors to obtain abortions if requested. 

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, tweeted Monday that Lloyd shouldn’t be allowed to work at HHS.

“He should not be in HHS at all. He needs to go. #FireScottLloyd,” she tweeted.

Planned Parenthood, one of Lloyd’s biggest opponents, said Lloyd has “permanently tainted the Office of Refugee Resettlement.”

“Papering over his failure by moving him elsewhere in the federal government isn’t good enough,” Dana Singiser, vice president of government relations at Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.

“Lloyd is a national disgrace and he has proven himself unfit to serve in the administration in any capacity.”

Before joining HHS, Lloyd worked for the Knights of Columbus, an anti-abortion Catholic organization. 

In his new job, Lloyd said he will be involved with how communities and faith-based groups can play a role in achieving HHS’s priorities, “which will improve the health and well-being of the American people.”

Updated at 3:24 p.m.

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