New HHS guidelines to speed up handing over of child asylum seekers to select sponsors

Previously, potential sponsors, including parents and relatives, filled out the forms themselves. Under the new guidelines, which were not made public but were obtained by CBS News, social workers will now begin this process for them. Sponsors will still undergo background checks, but this will no longer be required of other adult household members who are not sponsors. As stated previously, the facilities will also cover the travel costs of the children handed over to the sponsors, as well as the travel costs of the sponsors coming to the facilities to pick up the children.

The previous administration implemented a policy requiring that everyone in a household, except potential sponsors, be fingerprinted (“which, according to officials in the Biden administration, has created a “chilling effect” on undocumented families, “CBS News said), but then changed this policy with the aim of freeing children more quickly when this administration also saw many children coming to the southern border in search of safety during the fiscal year 2018. In that year, more than 49,000 children came to the border . The following fiscal year, that number rose to around 80,000 children, the Los Angeles Times mentionned.

But the Biden administration today struggles to take care of children safely and humanely, in large part because the new coronavirus pandemic standards have reduced the capacity limits of the HHS, leaving thousands of children behind. stranded in dangerous Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities a lot for well over the legal limit. According to CBS News, around 5,000 children were detained by CBP last weekend. Children are expected to be transferred from these border facilities to HHS within 72 hours, but NBC News reported that no less than 500 had been detained for as long as 10 days.

Administration with the help of the American Red Cross started to hold temporarily children at a major Dallas convention center as part of an effort to get them out of border facilities, some of whom have been nicknamed heel run, or coolers, by the defenders due to the freezing temperatures inside. “No child should be held in the custody of CBP in inhumane conditions. None, ”RAICES advocacy group tweeted. “The Biden administration must immediately transfer the children to an HHS facility and reunite them with their families as soon as possible.”

“On Monday, San Diego officials announced that the Department of Health and Human Services plans to convert the city’s convention center into another temporary shelter for unaccompanied minors,” CBS News continued. “The facility would be the fifth emergency or influx shelter for migrant children opened under President Biden, as well as the first outside of Texas.”

But advocates have expressed deep concern about these so-called influx facilities, as they do not have the same type of license as ORR facilities.

“Whenever a child is in the care of the government, there must be the highest standards and absolute transparency and accountability. The problem with inflow installations is that they are not state authorized, so you lost one of your checks ”, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) Vice President for Policy and Advocacy Jennifer podkul recently said Mother Jones. “The Trump administration used them as substitutes for regular licensed facilities, so the kids stayed there for months, which was totally inappropriate. We certainly don’t think these inflow and “decompression” facilities are good for children. »Following the public outcry, President Biden earlier this month he opposed the Florida prison camp that the administration had proposed to reopen.

HHS directives freeing children more quickly to sponsors come as the US Senate finally confirmed Xavier Becerra, the former California congressman and attorney general appointed by President Joe Biden to head the agency. Becerra was nominated in December but was confirmed only last week. In a statement about the opening of the San Diego facility, ABC 10 News reports city ​​leaders said that “[w]hen [Becerra] asked for our help to accommodate some of the unaccompanied minors at the border, we knew it was the right thing to do.

“Over the weekend, we agreed to open our convention center to the federal government for use as a temporary shelter,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and County Supervisor Chairman Nathan Fletcher mentionned in the report. “The city and county will support this federally funded effort by providing essential services to these vulnerable children who have come to our country in search of safety. We are working closely with our federal partners to finalize the details of how to welcome these youth and provide them with care, compassion and a safe space for transition while they are reunited with their families or parents. Godfather.

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