The public should submit comments to protect children and hold the government accountable.
Florida – November 3, 2023 – America’s Future, Inc., a national leader in the fight to preserve individual rights, promote American values and traditions, and protect the nation’s Constitutional Republic, today announced a call to action for all citizens to join together to stop the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from adopting its reckless proposal to change the rules governing the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) Program. HHS first announced the proposed rule in the Federal Register on October 4, 2023. Americans are urged to submit comments objecting to the Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by 11:59 p.m. ET on December 4, 2023, when the public comment period closes. The UAC Program is operated through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a division of the Administration for Children & Families (ACF), an HHS agency.
“As broken as the UAC Program is,” said Mary O’Neill, Executive Director of America’s Future, “this proposed rule, if adopted, would circumvent accountability and produce even more harm, abuse, and irreparable pain and suffering to innocent children. It is an insult to every American, every family, every taxpayer, and especially to the children, who are in this country’s care. We are calling on all Americans to get involved during the comment period of the rulemaking process and submit their objections.”
The adoption of the proposed rule will further subvert the UAC Program by materially altering the federal regulations indexed at 45 CFR Part 410, governing “the care, custody, and placement of UAC’s.” As noted in an in-depth examination of the proposed rule in the Fourth Presentment of Florida’s Statewide Grand Jury, HHS’s proposed changes, “essentially codifies [into law] many of the abominable policies” currently in place, such as improper vetting of sponsors, “losing jurisdiction over UAC’s,” and failing to terminate custody arrangements “even in the case of sponsors who have abused and/or trafficked the children…”
Additionally, the rule attempts to fundamentally change defined or commonly understood words like “influx” and “emergency.” Worse yet, it fails to address the unlawful and immoral funneling of countless children, including UACs, in and out of foster care facilities “that may not meet the standards of (a standard program),” reports the Grand Jury, adding, “ORR cannot adequately meet the requirements the agency is currently subject to; it, therefore, seeks radical redefinition of both the goals it is mandated to achieve and the processes whereby it is mandated to do so…These are the lives of children we are discussing, not some depersonalized set of numerical values.”
The Florida Grand Jury, having taken the reigns in investigating national consequences of the perilous UAC program, at the same time focusing on its own jurisdiction, released the Fourth Presentment on October 20, 2023, following its Third Presentment, which delivered comprehensive information, including facts and data, and provided irrefutable evidence of dysfunction within HHS agencies and the existence of a dangerously flawed UAC Program that places migrant children directly in harm’s way and fuels child trafficking. The presentment explained, “…children are transported by federal agencies into [Florida], where many are effectively abandoned.”
Moreover, and thanks to whistleblowers stepping forward with first-hand experience and eye-witness accounts, federal agencies under the Biden administration have been exposed for the horrific treatment and unconscionable neglect of unaccompanied migrant children, including alarming examples from a California Intake Center where unaccompanied children were impetuously processed without concern for their wellbeing – as though they were objects on a conveyor belt.
Whistleblower accounts substantiate that unaccompanied minors are released into the custody of unknown and unvetted sponsors and corroborate that there is no accountability or transparency when it comes to the millions of taxpayer dollars handed out to NGOs, many of which are sole-sourced and/or susceptible to intimidation, bullying and other coercive tactics employed regularly by government officials to control staff and suppress information from getting to the public. To hear four HHS whistleblowers recount the dangerous conditions confronting unaccompanied migrant children entering the U.S. at the southern border, watch Where Did The Children Go.
“We are grateful to the brave whistleblowers and to the State of Florida for taking the lead in investigating federal agencies and government officials who are failing to fulfill their obligation of ensuring the unaccompanied migrant children who enter the U.S. receive proper custody, care, and services and we are thankful their findings are available to the public,” said O’Neill. “Now, we need to raise our voices, submit comments, and call our federal and state representatives to end this madness. HHS has already lost at least 85,000 children, likely more. Enough is enough!”
O’Neill also urges Congress to step up and do a clean sweep of these agencies and thoroughly investigate the spider web of deceptive policies and dangerous programs that waste billions of taxpayer dollars and end up funding child trafficking, leading to devastating and deadly consequences for the most vulnerable and defenseless.
The public can submit a comment by logging on to the Federal Register: Unaccompanied Children Program Foundational Rule.