Grace Meng Intros Two Bills to Help Separated Migrant Children
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) introduced two pieces of legislation this week as the chaos of migrant families separated at the border gripped a nation. The Better Care for Kids Act aims to improve training that federal personnel who care for separated children. The bill would ensure that personnel are trained to properly care for tender-age children, particularly to minimize trauma they may be experiencing. Meng’s other measure, the Child Advocate Program Reauthorization Act, would reauthorize the Child Advocate Program, an initiative that appoints independent child advocates for vulnerable alien unaccompanied children and child trafficking victims. The bill would extend the authorization through 2022. Just this month, the Department of Health and Human Services announced its desire to cover 550 minors through the program in nearly a dozen locations throughout the country. The authorization for the program expired in 2017. “It is appalling that parents who had their kids ripped away from them are still separated from their children, and that the President still has no concrete plan to bring them back together,” said Meng. “But while these children are detained without their parents, it is essential that the government provide them with the best care possible, and that they have advocates who are on their side.” Both bills have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee where they are awaiting further action. More here.