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Tuberville and Grassley object to Biden's unaccompanied migrant youth rule

On Friday, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) joined U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and 43 Senate colleagues, including U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Alabama) in introducing a bipartisan Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to strike down the Biden administration's rule about unaccompanied minors crossing the border. Tuberville and the Republican warn that Biden's plan for unaccompanied minors is endangering the safety and wellbeing of the unaccompanied alien children.

"The Biden administration's policies willfully put children at risk-this is yet another example of the heartbreaking results of the wide-open border," said Senator Tuberville. "It is our duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves. If Biden won't do it, Congress must act."

"The Biden administration ignored warnings from Congress and the Inspector General that its policies put children at risk and instead moved to finalize its current rule," said Sen. Grassley. "Biden's Health and Human Services Department has lost tens of thousands of vulnerable kids and handed over many others to abusers and criminals. This exploitation is one of the most heartbreaking tragedies the Biden Border Crisis has created. Since the Biden administration has refused to lift a finger to fix this problem, it's now up to Congress to put a stop to it."

Illegal immigrant children who enter the U.S. illegally without an adult are detained and placed in the Unaccompanied Children (UC) program, run by the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).HHS's UC program is intended to reunify unaccompanied migrant children with family members or other trusted adult sponsors residing in the U.S. The federal government pays contractors and grantees billions of taxpayer dollars to operate the UC program and enforce HHS's negligent policies.

Republicans say that the HHS rule Grassley is seeking to overturn, which was finalized in April, codifies harmful practices, including:

1) Lax or optional sponsor vetting

2) Refusal to consider a sponsor's criminal record, including illegal drug use, history of abuse or neglect, or other necessarily disqualifying child welfare concerns;

3) Refusal to share a sponsor's immigration status with law enforcement;

4) Weak standards for post-release home studies to determine a child's status or safety once in the custody of a sponsor; and

5) Restrictions on whistleblowers' rights to disclose to Congress and the HHS Inspector General (IG) information on wrongdoing and misconduct in the program.

Senators Tuberville and Britt were joined by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Ted Budd (R-North Carolina), Shelley Moore Capito (R-Louisiana), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Joe Manchin (I-West Virginia), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebraska), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), Eric Schmitt (R-Missouri), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), John Thune (R-South Dakota), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), and Todd Young (R-Indiana) in cosponsoring the Grassley resolution.

In December 2023, Senator Tuberville joined his colleagues in sending a letter to HHS officials calling out the harmful and deficient policies regarding the treatment of unaccompanied alien children.

Tommy Tuberville has represented Alabama in the United States Senate since his election in 2020. He serves on the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans' Affairs, and HELP Committees.

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