Press Release

Obama Administration Waives Immigration Rules, Putting Children at Risk

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Obama Administration Waives Immigration Rules, Putting Children at Risk

(Washington, D.C.) – With the recent surge of migrant children from Central America, scrutiny and background checks on prospective foster homes have become lax, according to an investigation by the Associated Press (AP). The AP estimates that over 89,000 children have gone to poorly vetted guardians, due to lack of resources to run fingerprints or even background checks. Furthermore, the investigation signals that in April 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lowered its safety standards during border surges and stopped requiring original copies of birth certificates to prove most sponsors' identities. As a result, the agency cannot gauge how many of these children have been subjected to abuse, labor trafficking, or dangerous conditions. In many cases, social workers can no longer locate the children at all.

Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:

“We are a nation of laws, and our immigration laws are intended both to enhance national security and - in this case - protect migrant children. If this report is accurate, the administration is failing at both. It’s a sad moment in our nation’s history when we cannot do a good job of protecting innocent children escaping violence. At the very minimum the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should make sure that these refugees are placed with known relatives or vetted foster caretakers.


President Obama calls himself a champion on immigration yet all we’ve seen during his time in office is an appalling lack of seriousness and a disregard for the lives of millions. Instead, his focus has been on constructing a legacy with unilateral actions that only pay lip-service to the migrant community with no durable results. While the president has failed to work with Congress on durable legislative reform, the fight for reform is not over. Our children deserve safety and security, and lawmakers – regardless of party lines – need to make sure America continues to be a beacon of hope and opportunity for any person looking to forge a better life for themselves.”

For Interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact Brian Faughnan, 703-678-4581 or Josh Rivera, 202-763-4428

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