Protecting Unaccompanied Alien Children from Trafficking and Other Abuses: The Role of the Office of Refugee Resettlement [open pdf - 639KB]
This is a Staff Report of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. This Report addresses concerns regarding the thousands of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) that arrive in the U.S. annually: "Each year, thousands of UACs enter the United States, unaccompanied by their parents or relatives and are taken into U.S. custody. Congress has tasked the Department of Health and Human Services's Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) with finding appropriate homes in which to place UACs temporarily pending the resolution of their immigration proceedings. Through procedures described below, HHS attempts to place each UAC with a suitable adult sponsor--someone who can care for them and ensure their appearance at their immigration hearings. [...] Over a period of four months in 2014, however, HHS placed a number of UACs in the hands of a ring of human traffickers who forced them to work on egg farms in and around Marion, Ohio, leading to a July 2015 federal criminal indictment. [...] The Subcommittee sought to determine whether the Marion placements were caused by a tragic series of missteps or more systemic deficiencies in HHS's UAC placement process. The Subcommittee reviewed 65 case files of UACs placed by ORR, including 34 UACs whose files contained at least some indication of human trafficking or other neglect or abuse, and a sample set of 28 other UACs placed with sponsors who were not close relatives. Based on that investigation, the Subcommittee concludes that HHS's policies and procedures were inadequate to protect the children in the agency's care."
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/