The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR - part of the Department of Health and Human Resources - HHS) oversees the care of immigrant children unaccompanied by an adult. After a stay in an ORR shelter, the majority of children are sent to live with sponsors who have close ties to the children -- typically a parent or close relative, though some end up living with "other-than-close relatives or non-relatives."
From October to December 2017, HHS called 7,635 children the agency had placed with sponsors and found 6,075 of the children were still living with their sponsors, 28 had run away, five had been deported and 52 were living with someone else. The remaining 1,475 were missing.
HHS responsibilities are now expanding as ICE is separating children from their parents after they cross the border into the United States. Since HHS has already admitted that it cannot account for nearly 1,500 migrant children previously in its custody, it does not inspire confidence that the agency can perform better with an expanded scope of responsibilities.
We must call our MOCs to stop the morally bankrupt practice of separating child from their parents, and we need to hold HHS accountable for all the unaccompanied immigrant children that they have sent and that they will send to live with sponsors.
Three calls to make: Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, and Representative Richmond or Scalise
Senator Bill Cassidy: DC Office: 202-224-5824; Metairie office: 504-838-0130; Monroe: 318-324-2111; Lake Charles 337-493-5398; Alexandria: 318-448-7176
Senator John Kennedy: DC office: 202-224-4623; New Orleans: 504-581-6190; Lafayette: (337) 269-5980; Monroe: (318) 361-1489; Alexandria: (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge: (225) 926-8033; Shreveport: (318) 670-5192
Because of how Congressional districts are drawn, New Orleans residents have either Richmond or Scalise as their representative. If you don't know who your representative is, you can look it up by entering your home address on the U.S. House of Representatives website.
Representative Cedric Richmond - in DC at (202) 225-6636, and in New Orleans at (504) 288-3777
Representative Steve Scalise - in DC at (202) 225-3015, and in Metairie at (504) 837-1259
Hi, my name is [Your Name] and I'm an active voter from New Orleans.
I’m asking the senator/representative to use Congress' oversight authority to stop separating families at the U.S. border. This practice is traumatic, hurts innocent children, is morally undefendable, and should be stopped immediately. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services needs to account for each and every unaccompanied child that it sends to live with sponsors.
Thank you for your time and attention.
[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]
This call is adapted from 5calls.org, and a variety of additional sources.