Skip to content

Ranking Member Cassidy, Grassley, Colleagues Introduce CRA to Overturn Biden Admin Rule Enabling Abuse of Unaccompanied Migrant Children

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and 44 Senate colleagues introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) final rule endangering the safety and wellbeing of unaccompanied migrant children. Previously, Cassidy condemned ORR’s proposed rule as “failing to fully protect children from exploitation.” Since 2023, Cassidy has conducted an investigation into the Biden administration’s failures to protect unaccompanied children from forced labor and human trafficking.   

“ORR’s ongoing policy failures threaten the health and safety of unaccompanied children in its care. Five have already lost their lives under the Biden administration. Instead of implementing real reforms, this new rule codifies many of ORR’s existing failed policies,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This bipartisan resolution overturns this harmful regulation and holds the Biden administration accountable for its failure to protect these vulnerable children.” 

“The Biden administration ignored warnings from Congress and the Inspector General that its policies put children at risk and instead moved to finalize its current rule. Biden’s Health and Human Services Department has lost tens of thousands of vulnerable kids and handed over many others to abusers and criminals. This exploitation is one of the most heartbreaking tragedies the Biden Border Crisis has created. Since the Biden administration has refused to lift a finger to fix this problem, it’s now up to Congress to put a stop to it,” said Senator Grassley.   


As Biden’s border crisis continues, over 500,000 unaccompanied children have entered the United States illegally since 2021. Under the Biden administration, ORR has dramatically weakened its oversight of unaccompanied children, putting them at risk of exploitation. Among its many troubling provisions, the final rule codifies inadequate sponsor vetting requirements, undermines state licensing requirements and jeopardizes the health and well-being of unaccompanied children, and infringes on conscience and religious freedom protections by prioritizing transportation for abortion.   

Several reports from Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General (OIG), and nonpartisan government watchdog groups have affirmed that ORR’s existing policies have failed to prevent the abuse and exploitation of unaccompanied children. 

Specifically, ORR’s final rule codifies existing harmful practices, including:  

  • Lax or optional sponsor vetting;  
  • Refusal to consider a sponsor’s criminal record, including illegal drug use, history of abuse or neglect, or other necessarily disqualifying child welfare concerns;    
  • Refusal to share a sponsor’s immigration status with law enforcement;   
  • Weak standards for post-release home studies to determine a child’s status or safety once in the custody of a sponsor; and  
  • Restrictions on whistleblowers’ rights to disclose to Congress and the HHS OIG information on wrongdoing and misconduct in the program.    

Cassidy and Grassley are joined by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (I-WV), Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Budd (R-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jim Risch (R-ID), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Mike Braun (R-IN), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Cindy Hyde-Smith, (R-MS), John Kennedy (R-LA), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Thom Tillis (R-NC), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Rick Scott (R-FL), John Hoeven (R-ND), Joni Ernst (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Katie Britt (R-AL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Ted Cruz (R Times New Roman -TX), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Mike Rounds (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY), John Thune (R-SD), John Boozman (R-AR) and Tim Scott (R-SC) in cosponsoring this resolution. 


For all news and updates from HELP Republicans, visit our website or Twitter at @GOPHELP. Click here to unsubscribe.