March 12, 2021
The Biden administration rescinded a 2018 agreement between the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services that encouraged child welfare officers to share sensitive personal information about potential sponsors for unaccompanied children with immigration enforcement agents.
The move is part of a larger effort to reduce the number of children in U.S. custody by encouraging family members and other potential sponsors – regardless of their own legal status – to come forward to take care of unaccompanied minors.
An administration official says the decision “sends a really strong signal” that the Office of Refugee Resettlement and HHS are not involved in immigration enforcement.
The Biden administration is struggling with a rapidly increasing number of children traveling without parents arriving at the border. A record number of unaccompanied minors are being held in warehouse-like detention facilities run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection near the southern border.