WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), questioned Homeland Security Advisory Council panelists during a HSGAC roundtable on how to ensure the safe and humane treatment of migrant children at the southern border.
“We know that health screenings are supposed to go on but right now they’re going on by CBP officers instead of health professionals,” said Senator Rosen.
“Definitively not the right outcome,” responded panelist Sharon Cooper, M.D. – Developmental and Forensic Pediatrician
“So isn’t a medical professional what we need to provide these screenings as often as they need to be done on a daily basis?” continued Senator Rosen.
“We know that we have medical professionals willing to go down, willing to go to the border, willing to volunteer their time at these facilities. What do we need to do to facilitate that for the safety of our children?” asked Senator Rosen.
“Absolutely Senator Rosen, I agree with you 100 percent.” responded panelist Sharon Cooper, M.D.
BACKGROUND: Full video of the exchange can be viewed here.
This exchange comes after Senator Rosen’s announcement last month that she had put holds on two Department of Homeland Security nominees, which she will keep in place until the inhumane and substandard conditions at migrant detention centers significantly improve and oversight requirements are met.
In June, Senator Rosen joined her colleagues in sending a letter to Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) requesting a hearing on the health and safety conditions of migrant children arriving at the southern border.
Also in June, Rosen led 17 of her colleagues in sending a letter to DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan raising concerns about a recent Office of Inspector General report detailing severe and dangerous overcrowding of migrants at El Paso Del Norte Processing Center during unannounced inspections conducted on May 8 and 9, 2019.
Rosen is also a co-sponsor of the Keep Families Together Act, which would ensure that the federal government carries out immigration procedures in the best interest of detained children.