Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Trump Administration Moves to Release Migrant Children Faster From U.S. Custody

REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
The Trump administration is again changing the way it vets people who want to sponsor minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone in an effort to speed up the release of thousands of migrant children currently in U.S. custody.
Under the change, announced to staff on Friday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which houses unaccompanied migrant children, will no longer require an immigration records check on potential sponsors already backgrounded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In May 2018, HHS began routinely sending sponsors’ fingerprints to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to check their records on potential sponsors’ immigration history, which would include any arrests for immigration violations and active deportation orders.
But reconciling the immigration background checks with the FBI records was a time consuming process for HHS staff, and the addition of the immigration checks has “not produced any substantive information,” said Evelyn Stauffer, a spokeswoman for HHS.
She said suspending the use of the immigration background checks could speed up the release of children by at least two or three days. About 13,200 children are in HHS custody, Stauffer said. In May, children spent on average 48 days in HHS shelters before being released to sponsors, she said.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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