(Washington Free Beacon) The Biden administration’s attempts to implement a more humane immigration policy are leading it to hand migrant children over to American adults who haven’t submitted to background checks, according to a Senate report obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. That has made those kids vulnerable to everything from being placed in the custody of legal guardians who have a history of child neglect to living in homes with registered sex offenders.
The report, from Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) and Republican members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, paints a devastating picture of how the Biden administration has mismanaged the southern border, which has seen more than 2.5 million crossings since he took office. Biden’s attempt to strike a contrast on immigration with his predecessor may have backfired, putting in danger thousands of minors who have now lost contact with federal authorities, according to the report.
In an effort to reverse Trump administration policies that President Joe Biden characterized on the campaign trail as cruel and inhumane, many unaccompanied alien children who come into the custody of American officials are now handed over to adults in the United States without any vetting, the report says. Those background checks would verify, among other things, that alien children are not given to guardians who are on the sex offender registry.
Few executive actions under former president Donald Trump drew more ire from the media and left-wing activists than his “family separation policy.” That policy, which ordered law enforcement to separate children from illegal alien parents apprehended at the southern border was meant to deter future illegal border crossings. But Biden, who, according to the Senate report, is overseeing an immigration system that is reducing “protections for [unaccompanied alien] children against abuse and trafficking,” has avoided the same level of scrutiny from the press and Democrats.
Federal agencies responsible for releasing children into the custody of a legal guardian in the United States, such as HHS and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, told Senate Republicans that they do not believe they are responsible for “protecting unaccompanied alien children from abuse and trafficking after placement with a sponsor.” That shocking admission, the report states, is a “plain” contradiction of the agencies’ statutory obligations.
“[Health and Human Services has refused] to implement systems designed to ensure the safe release of children and accept legal responsibility for unaccompanied alien children after they are paired with a sponsor, as required by law,” the report states.
Reversing his predecessor’s hawkish immigration policies has been a priority for Biden from the start. Some of his first actions as president targeted the southern border, such as a February 2021 executive order that required “agencies to conduct a top-to-bottom review of recent regulations, policies, and guidance that have set up barriers to our legal immigration system.” That move, followed by others announced the next month, were, Biden said, part of a strategy to create a “fair, safe, and orderly immigration system.”
The practice of waiving background checks for adults who take in alien children began shortly thereafter as the Biden administration prioritized the identification of adult caregivers in order to avoid keeping children in holding facilities or returning them to their home countries.