WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Rick Scott led Representatives Laurel Lee, Gus Bilirakis, and Anna Paulina-Luna in a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding a briefing on the tragic loss of a migrant child who died while in the custody of HHS, as well as answers to a series of questions regarding the circumstances surrounding this death.
According to news reports, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed the loss of a migrant child. The child was in the custody of HHS at a facility in Safety Harbor.
In the letters, Scott claims the loss of human life caused by the crisis on America’s southern border is heartbreaking and totally preventable, and he pinned blame on the Biden Administration.
He further stated that the Biden administration inherited a secure border, which, Scott claimed, “…in the more than 840 days since President Biden took office, he has systematically dismantled the effective policies put in place by the Trump administration, creating the worst national security and humanitarian crisis on our southern border in American history.”
Scott continued by stating the tragedy is, unfortunately, just one of the many disastrous consequences of the president’s decision to allow America’s border security to erode and savage cartels to assume operational control of the U.S. – Mexican border.
“While the loss of any life is unacceptable, the death of a child is especially infuriating and demands immediate answers from both HHS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),” Scott’s letter stated. “Following a previous death of a migrant child in HHS custody in 2019, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden said, ‘It’s unacceptable. It’s not who we are.’
Scott’s letter continued:
“We agree, and are writing on behalf of the American people who deserve answers and to be assured that a tragedy of this nature will not happen again.”
The letter then demands answers to the following questions:
What are the circumstances surrounding this child’s death?
When did this child enter the United States?
When was this child in DHS custody?
When was this child transferred to HHS custody?
How long has this child been in HHS custody?
When was this child transferred to Florida?
Was the child in a group facility run by a non-governmental organization or housed with a family?
What protocols are in place to prevent the death of an unaccompanied child being held by a third-party organization?
Is HHS planning on removing the organization which housed this child from the refugee resettlement program?
Does HHS have a duty to publicly report when a child dies in their custody?