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Us Department of Health & office of Refugees and Settlement

Autor:   •  February 27, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  401 Words (2 Pages)  •  25 Views

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Briefing By: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Speaker:

Commander Jonathan White—Deputy Director for Children's Programs, Office of Refugee Resettlement

Summary:

The intent of this call was to update staffers on the status of the HHS and ASL.

When a child who has entered the country illegally and is not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, he or she is considered an unaccompanied “alien child” and by law must be transferred to the ORR for care and custody. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is legally required to shelter and care for UAC until the children are released to a suitable sponsor, removed after their immigration proceedings or turn 18. The children are usually referred to the ORR by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

ORR provides a safe and healthy environment for children in their shelters, one that provides access to food, clean clothes, recreational opportunities, education and medical services until they can be released to an appropriate sponsor, while their immigration cases are adjudicated. HHS fulfills all requirements of the Flores settlement agreement and informs all minors of their rights by providing legal resources and services.

As of this September 6, 2018, the initial reunifications were completed: 2,157 children were discharged and 497 remain in the custody of ORR. Out of the 497 children remaining, 455 custodians were successfully contacted and elected to have the children remain in custody of ORR.

Not every adult who comes forward to claim custody of a child is an appropriate sponsor due to a variety of reasons, and HHS must determine parentage, fitness and safety before reunifying families. HSS agencies’ vetting procedures helped prevent the reunification of 18 children with custodians accused of child cruelty.

Fifty-two children were not classified as “separated”. Children that were traveling with a parent and were separated prior to apprehension at the border did not qualify as “separated” under the court’s order. Also, children that were apprehended with who appeared to be a parent, but through their review process, learned that the person was not, did not qualify as “separated”.

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