House Votes to Subpoena Records on Administration’s Child Separation Policy
The Trump administration most likely separated thousands more children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border than it previously reported, but those in charge of the policy have not been forthcoming with details of the policy, making it hard to know for sure. Hence, the Committee on Oversight and Reform on Tuesday authorized Chair Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to issue subpoenas to Attorney General William P. Barr, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar II for records on Trump’s child separation policy. The subpoenas require the agencies to produce specific categories of information about each separated child -- the same information requested seven months ago on a bipartisan basis. The subpoenas were authorized by a vote of 25 to 11, with two Republicans crossing the aisle: MI Congressman Justin Amash and TX Congressman Chip Roy, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. “When our own government rips vulnerable children, toddlers, and even infants from the arms of their mothers and fathers with no plan to reunite them, that is government-sponsored child abuse. It is our job to step in and protect those children. Further delay is not an option,” Cummings said. The subpoenas came just after Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) released documents from the Department of Health and Human Services showing that, over the past four years, unaccompanied minors in U.S. custody reported thousands of allegations of sexual abuse while in the government’s care. The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is in charge of caring for under-age immigrants, received more than 4,500 allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment between 2015 and 2018. Of those, approximately 1,300 were serious enough to refer to the FBI. More here.