LAJC just submitted a public comment urging the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency responsible for caring for unaccompanied minors and for reuniting them with their families through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), to abandon a dangerous agreement with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would turn ORR into an arm of ICE.
Under this agreement, ORR and DHS will provide ICE with confidential information not only about the caregiver seeking to reunite with a minor in ORR custody, but about every person in their entire household. This will enable ICE to check every person’s immigration status and use the information to detain and deport the adults trying to reunite with their children.
This agreement and the procedures that have been proposed to implement it use children as bait to detain and deport their family members. It is in direct conflict with ORR’s mission to protect child welfare, as well as being a gross erosion of privacy rights and further evidence that this Administration is only paying lip service to child protection in order to enact practices that hurt children and keep families apart.
LAJC is committed to protecting immigrants and refugees and keeping kids out of jail. While attention has been focused on the horrible impacts of family separation on the border, the administration has been quietly continuing its project of preventing families from reuniting, a project that started over a year ago and one that LAJC has been watching and fighting against for years.