Mayor Opposes D.C. Facility for Unaccompanied Alien Children: Won’t Be ‘Complicit’

UACs apprehended in RGV Sector
Bob Price/Breitbart Texas

Democrat D.C. Mayor Muriel Bower is opposed to what she claims is the mistreatment of unaccompanied alien children in federal custody, yet she also opposes providing a place to care for these children in the nation’s capital.

Bowser said in a statement on Tuesday that she had “no intention” of supporting the federal government’s plan to build a temporary facility in the District. 

“Washington, D.C. will not be complicit in the inhumane practice of detaining migrant children in warehouses,” Bowser said. “We have no intention of accepting a new federal facility, least of all one that detains and dehumanizes migrant children.”

The Washington Examiner reported that the feds have to have the cooperation of D.C. officials:

Though the plans for the facility are planned by the federal government, the local D.C. Child and Family Services Agency must issue the license for a facility that plans to care for minors. They found the initial application from DSS to be “inadequate,” according to the Washington Post.

The structure will also need approval from the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which issues certificates for buildings that will have occupants.

The federal contractor Dynamic Service Solution is seeking to open the shelter and is seeking workers to care for “unaccompanied alien children,” according to the Associated Press.

According to an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) fact sheet “as of August 5, 2019, there are approximately 8,700 UAC in HHS care.”

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics show that in fiscal year 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018) 107,212 unaccompanied alien children were taken into custody.

Health and Human Services (HHS) — the agency in charge of UACs once they are transferred from federal law enforcement agencies —  provides a range of services:

Consistent with federal law, ORR places children while in our care in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child, taking into account potential flight risk and danger to self and others.  Presently, all ORR-funded facility services includes:

  • Classroom education

  • Mental and medical health services

  • Case management

  • Recreation

The ORR fact sheet details the dramatic increase of UACs entering the United States:

ORR has provided care for and found suitable sponsors for almost 390,000 UAC. For the first nine years of the UAC Program at ORR, fewer than 8,000 children were served annually in this program. Since Fiscal Year 2012 (October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2012), this number has jumped dramatically, with a total of 13,625 children referred to ORR by the end of FY 2012. The program received 24,668 UAC referrals from DHS in FY 2013, 57,496 referrals in FY 2014, 33,726 referrals in FY 2015, 59,170 in FY 2016, and 40,810 in FY 2017. In FY 2018 49,100 UAC were referred.

The fact sheet also states that there are “approximately 170 facilities and programs in 23 states funded by ORR.”

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