Letter Follows Joint Effort To Secure Federal Funding For Child Welfare Professionals To Provide Services To Children In CBP Custody
WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus requesting information on the status of the hiring and deployment of state-licensed child welfare professionals at CBP border facilities. Congress appropriated $14.55 million for the hiring of these child welfare professionals under the FY 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
“Migrant children arriving at the southwest border have frequently endured severe harm and trauma, coupled with unique vulnerabilities stemming from their age, developmental stage, and communication and comprehension capacity,” wrote the senators. “As you know, as part of the FY 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act Congress provided $14.55 million to the DHS Office of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) to hire state-licensed child welfare professionals to provide services at facilities along the southwest border in coordination with CBP.”
“We respectfully request that you update us regularly on your progress in fulfilling Congress’s intended use of these appropriated funds, and we stand ready to work with you in implementing this important initiative,” the senators continued.
Senator Rosen has fought for years to ensure CBP facilities have child welfare professionals. Last year, during a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Rosen questioned Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas about conditions for children in CBP custody. In 2019, Senator Rosen sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf and CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan calling on the Department to hire additional pediatricians and medical professionals to care for migrant children detained in U.S. custody.