Washington – This week Congressman Lance Gooden demanded Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Becerra answer for his complete failure to protect unaccompanied alien children (UAC). Rep. Gooden's letter highlights the severe oversight by the current administration to vet sponsors and ensure these children are placed in a safe environment during an unprecedented crisis at the border.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) last July indicated they had lost contact with over 85,000 children in sponsor care, underscoring a systemic failure to ensure the safety and well-being of these vulnerable children. Since President Joe Biden's inauguration, the United States Customs and Border Patrol (USCBP) has encountered an astonishing 473,145 UACs at the southwest border.

Recent findings confirmed the Biden Administration is failing to perform mandatory background checks that examine criminal records, the sex offender registry, and address information. These checks are vital for the protection of UACs from potential abuse, trafficking, or exploitation. In the first 6 months of the Biden Administration, Rep. Gooden sounded the alarm on this failure in leadership by the White House to prevent child trafficking. Unfortunately, the administration and the mainstream media continue to ignore this historic crisis and blame other parties.  

"Human trafficking is an abhorrent crime, but the Biden administration’s irresponsible policies are making it easier for traffickers to exploit vulnerable children," said Congressman Gooden. "It is imperative HHS immediately address these failures and implement stringent measures to protect these children from further harm." 

ORR's negligence in properly screening and placing migrant children, coupled with its tactic of deflecting responsibility, exposes these vulnerable youths to potential harm and exploitation. The evidence of abuse and trafficking, exacerbated by Biden Administration policies prioritizing rapid release over safety, demands urgent reform. HHS must prioritize the swift and secure return of UACs to their home countries, rather than endangering them with placements in unvetted environments. 

Cosigners: Clay Higgins (R-LA), Jake Ellzey (R-TX), Tom Tiffany (R-WI), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), Brian Babin, D.D.S. (R-TX), Chip Roy (R-TX), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), Pete Sessions (R-TX)

Read the letter here.