03.05.20

Murray: New Report Details How Disastrously Incompetent Implementation of Trump Administration’s Inhumane Family Separation Policy Further Hurt Families

Investigation was launched following request from Senator Murray and Senate Democrats

 

Murray: “It was clear from the start that the Trump Administration’s family separation policy was utterly inhumane, and this report shows how the Administration’s incompetence caused further harm to families.”

 

HHS OIG: “HHS’s lack of planning for the possibility of larger-scale family separation left the Department unable to provide prompt and appropriate care for separated children when the zero-tolerance policy was implemented.”

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement in response to a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) which details serious flaws with the Trump Administration’s implementation of its unnecessary family separation policy that undermined the ability of the Department of Health and Human Services to provide appropriate care for children separated from their parents.

“It was clear from the start that the Trump Administration’s family separation policy was utterly inhumane, and this report shows how the Administration’s incompetence caused further harm to families,” said Senator Murray, “These findings are deeply alarming and raise even more serious questions about why officials at the Department of Health and Human Services are failing to live up to their mission of protecting children’s best interest. I’m going to continue holding the Trump Administration accountable, from top to bottom, for its horrible policies that separate families and the harm they have caused, and pressing to make sure our government fulfills its duty to meet the needs of the children in its care.”

 

The report which stems from an investigation launched after Senator Murray and fellow Senate Democrats wrote to the HHS OIG calling for a comprehensive review of the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program, states in its summary:

“Interagency communication failures and poor internal management decisions left HHS unprepared for the zero-tolerance policy. Specifically, interagency channels for coordinating immigration policy across Federal departments were not used to notify HHS of the zero-tolerance policy in advance. Meanwhile, key senior HHS officials did not act on staff’s repeated warnings that family separations were occurring and might increase. HHS’s lack of planning for the possibility of larger-scale family separation left the Department unable to provide prompt and appropriate care for separated children when the zero-tolerance policy was implemented.

 

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