Skip to content

TOMORROW: Ranking Member Cassidy, Grassley, Johnson to Host Roundtable on Exploitation of Unaccompanied Migrant Children

WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, July 9, at 2:30 p.m. ET, 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 Ron Johnson (R-WI) will host a roundtable entitled “The Exploitation Crisis: How the U.S. Government is Failing to Protect Migrant Children from Trafficking and Abuse.” The roundtable will examine the failures of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)’s Unaccompanied Children (UC) program, which has allowed thousands of vulnerable migrant kids to be lost or handed over to potential criminals. Since 2023, Cassidy has conducted an investigation into the Biden administration’s failures to protect unaccompanied children from forced labor and human trafficking.   

WHAT: Oversight roundtable on “The Exploitation Crisis: How the U.S. Government is Failing to Protect Migrant Children from Trafficking and Abuse.”

WHEN: Tuesday, July 9, at 2:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. CT

WHERE: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 608

WHO: Witnesses will include HHS UC program whistleblowers, as well as Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris and criminology expert Dr. Jarrod Sadulski.

Click here to watch live.

If attending in-person or virtually, please RSVP to Stephen Lewerenz at


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. In a 2022 report from HHS’ Office of Inspector General (OIG), ORR staff admitted that the loosened vetting requirements “have weakened ORR’s ability to vet sponsors and protect children from risks such as trafficking and exploitation.” This comes as ORR recently released its final rule codifying these failed policies into law.

In a separate report released earlier this year, the HHS OIG discovered numerous instances of ORR officials failing to comply with the agency’s own sponsor vetting requirements. For example, it found that ORR failed to conduct required background checks on sponsors in 16 percent of cases, did not include updated FBI fingerprint or state child abuse and neglect registry checks in 19 percent of cases, and did not conduct timely safety and well-being follow up calls in 22 percent of cases. As a result, many of these children released by ORR are coerced into dangerous and illegal work by adult sponsors.


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