Roe Reintroduces Bill to Bring Transparency to Unaccompanied Children Placement
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) reintroduced H.R. 2146, the Unaccompanied Alien Children Placement Transparency Act, legislation to require the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Homeland Security (DHS) to provide governors or the appropriate state-level official with certain information about Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) being placed within their states.
Roe released the following statement on the bill:
“I am proud to reintroduce the Unaccompanied Alien Children Placement Transparency Act to provide clarity to inquiries about unaccompanied children who had been placed in the state of Tennessee. During the Obama administration, these placements occurred without prior notification to governors and relevant state officials, and my bill simply requires the administration to provide basic but necessary information about the unaccompanied children being placed with sponsors in Tennessee. This information is critical to the public health and financial security of our state, and I strongly believe this placement process should be transparent for both state officials and Tennessee taxpayers.”
The bill would require HHS and DHS to provide the following information to states: any available medical records for UACs attending public schools, to be given to the school’s administration; the location and legal status of the UAC’s sponsor; what public benefits the UACs are receiving and what public benefits the UAC’s sponsor is receiving for sponsorship.
Tennessee Reps. Duncan, Fleischmann, DesJarlais, Black, and Blackburn are all original cosponsors of the legislation. According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, there were 801 UACs released to sponsors in Tennessee from October 2016-February 2017. There were 1,354 UCs released in YF2016 and 765 in FY2015.