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June 29, 2018

Top Dems Call for Comprehensive Review of President Trump’s Child Separation Policy by Inspectors General at DHS, HHS, and DOJ

Today, Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, Jerrold Nadler, Bennie G. Thompson, Bobby Scott, and Frank Pallone, Jr., the Ranking Members of the House Committees on Oversight and Government Reform, the Judiciary, Homeland Security, Education and the Workforce, and Energy and Commerce, sent a letter to the Inspectors General of the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services calling for a broad review of the Trump Administration’s child separation and “zero tolerance” policies.

“We strongly oppose these misguided and destructive policies,” the Ranking Members wrote.  “[B]ased on the events of the past several months, we have grave concerns about how the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Health and Human Services considered, prepared for, and executed these policies.  We request that you examine this entire process—including legal, logistical, coordination, and public information issues—and issue a report detailing the ways in which these efforts were deficient or could have been improved.”

The Ranking Members expressed concern that these agencies failed to put in place adequate protocols to reunite children and their parents before implementing this policy.  Reports also indicate that the Trump Administration has been deporting parents alone and may be coercing parents to waive their legal rights and leave the country in order to be reunited with their children.

“Even since President Trump issued Executive Order 13841, the Administration still has not provided consistent information on a family reunification plan, whether children are still being separated at the border, or whether your agencies have accurate information about whether detained children entered the United States as unaccompanied minors or were separated from their parents upon entry,” the Ranking Members wrote.  “We also have serious questions about whether public statements by officials at each of your agencies were based on facts or matched the internal decision-making process that led to the implementation of these policies.”    

Prior to announcing the “zero tolerance” policy, the Trump Administration denied that families were being separated at the border, despite numerous reports to the contrary.    

Click here to read today’s letter.

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Media Contacts:
Aryele Bradford (Oversight) 202-226-5181
Shadawn Reddick-Smith (Judiciary) 202-225-6906
Daniel Schwarz (Judiciary) 202-225-5635
Adam Comis (Homeland Security) 202-225-9978
Josh Weisz (Education and the Workforce) 202-226-0853
CJ Young (Energy and Commerce) 202-225-5735