Diaz-Balart: House Majority Leadership Has Failed to Protect the Well-being of Thousands of Unaccompanied Children

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) issued the following statement calling out House Majority Leadership for failing to support an emergency supplemental bill that would address the lack of funding for unaccompanied children under the care of the United States.

“It is appalling that thousands of unaccompanied children’s lives and well-being may be at risk because House Majority leadership continues to refuse to bring forth a supplemental bill that would address the funding crisis for HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program. Seven weeks ago, President Trump requested $4.5 billion in emergency appropriations to respond to the humanitarian crisis at the southern border. Shamefully, House Majority leadership’s inaction has failed to safeguard our national security interests and has failed these children.

“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) need resources to respond to the increases of those arriving at our southern border. The number of unaccompanied minor children in CPB’s custody increased from 870 on May 1st to more than 2,300 today. The lack of action from House Majority leadership in response to the influx of unaccompanied minors at our southern border is forcing federal agencies to cope with the crisis without the crucial resources that they need. This has also forced the termination of education services, legal services and recreation in the facilities.”

DHS and HHS report that as of June 10, 2019, more than 52,000 unaccompanied minors have been referred to HHS this year, a more than 60% increase over the previous fiscal year. In May 2019, the agencies reported that there were a staggering 144,278 total apprehensions at the southern border. On June 12, the Department of Homeland Security and The Department of Health & Human Services wrote a joint letter to Congress urging the immediate passage of emergency supplemental funding.

“Failing to provide these agencies with the necessary resources means jeopardizing the well-being of thousands of unaccompanied children.”

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