WASHINGTON, D.C. ― Wednesday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) sent a letter with 17 Democratic Senators to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar demanding more transparency about additional funding needed to care for and reunite the huge influx of children in the custody of Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) as a result of President Trump’s shameful family separation policy.
ORR is responsible for overseeing the care of unaccompanied migrant children and children who are being held in federal custody after being separated from their families at the border – and ultimately, reuniting them with their families. HHS has not been forthcoming about its funding needs and the Senators are demanding answers.
“Under your leadership the Department of Health and Human Services has developed a troubling pattern of chaotic, ideologically-driven, and opaque policymaking. Given reports that HHS is now redirecting hundreds of millions of dollars toward care for children needlessly separated from their parents, it is critical that the Senate have full information about the Department’s effort to identify funding in response to the emergency the Trump Administration’s policies have created. Additionally, we ask that the required transfer notifications submitted to the Appropriations Committee include both the amount from and the impact on all accounts contributing to the transfer,” the Senators wrote.
The letter was led by U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.).