Rosen, Cortez Masto Call on HHS, DHS to Ensure Detained Immigrant Children Are Protected During Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) joined over 100 of their Congressional colleagues in a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urging them to protect the health and safety of children in their custody in light of recent reports that the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) had delayed some reunifications despite concerns of Coronavirus cases at ORR facilities.


There are currently approximately 2,800 children in the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) custody, including licensed shelters. According to public health experts, people in confined spaces ‘are at special risk of infection, given their living situations,’ and ‘may also be less able to participate in proactive measures to keep themselves safe, and infection control is challenging in these settings,’ ” wrote the Senators. “Children are some of the most vulnerable among us, and we must fulfill our moral and legal obligations to protect their health and safety. These conditions are dangerous for any individual in detention—let alone vulnerable children in our care. Keeping them in needlessly prolonged detention poses immeasurable risk to their lives and the lives of their loved ones. We ask that you urgently and safely expedite the release of all immigrant children from U.S. custody to the care of sponsors and loved ones and take all reasonable steps to protect children in your custody.”


The full text of the letter can be found here: