WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) issued the following statement after touring facilities with their colleagues where children detained at the U.S.-Mexico border have been held.
“Today we visited several federal immigration facilities to better understand the current state of enforcement and family reunification. While the facilities and staff we observed were effective and humane, we are committed to ensuring the reunification of parents and their children as quickly as possible. After years of oversight of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the Energy and Commerce Committee will continue to work to see that the agency has the resources and protocols necessary to tackle the increasingly complex challenges it faces.”
All of the committee’s Republican members sent a letter to HHS on June 29, 2018, regarding the ORR program and the management, treatment, and reunification of unaccompanied alien children.
The letter followed the adoption of an amendment at a #SubHealth markup. The amendment, which passed by a unanimous 29-0 vote, required weekly reports to the committee and a formal strategy regarding the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) efforts to reunite these children with their families, in addition to addressing challenges previously identified by the committee.
The committee’s oversight of the ORR program dates back to 2014, when it first examined reports of abuse and lax standards.