/House appropriators plan visit to Florida shelter for migrant kids

House appropriators plan visit to Florida shelter for migrant kids

Rosa DeLauro

Rep. Rosa DeLauro said lawmakers need to ensure “essential protections” are granted to immigrant children in federal custody. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

House appropriators on Monday will visit a federal shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children, ahead of a hearing on oversight of the Department of Health and Human Services program that handles care for those kids.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), chairwoman of the spending panel that funds HHS, will lead a group of subcommittee members on the trip to a temporary shelter in Homestead, Fla., where up to about 2,500 kids are kept in federal care at any one time.

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“Too often, standards of care have been ignored, and children have languished in warehouse-like situations for months without being put into a sponsor’s care,” DeLauro said in a statement announcing the oversight visit.

The chairwoman said lawmakers need to ensure “essential protections” are granted to immigrant children in federal custody, including access to education, legal services and recreational activities, particularly in light of the $4.6 billion Congress just provided the Trump administration through the border aid bill enacted last month.

“The Trump Administration needs to be held accountable to do the right thing, and we will make sure that happens,” DeLauro said.

The spending subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing July 24 on the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s program that cares for children who enter the United States without a guardian.

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