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April 09, 2020

Thompson and Rice Demand CBP Protect Unaccompanied Children at the Border

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations, sent a letter to Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, and Mark Morgan, Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), regarding the Administration’s change in policy in their treatment of unaccompanied children (UAC) at the border seeking protection during the coronavirus pandemic.  Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA), unaccompanied children from countries other than Mexico or Canada must be transferred to Office of Refugee Resettlement within 72 hours of apprehension. This law is designed to protect unaccompanied children, the most vulnerable group arriving at the U.S. border, from violence and exploitation.

“Under both U.S. and international law, the Department is required to ensure that unaccompanied children arriving at our border have access to credible fear screenings and due process. The TVPRA ensures that children receive due process in adjudicating their claims,” the Members write. “We strongly urge you to reverse the Department’s decision to deport unaccompanied children without due process and ask you to fully implement TVPRA protections for unaccompanied children.”

Link to letter

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Press Contact

(Thompson) Adam Comis at 202-225-9978

(Rice) Stuart Malec at 202-225-5516