Biden Waives FBI Background Checks For Caregivers At Child Migrant Facilities
The Biden administration has scrapped FBI background checks for caregivers at its overpacked child migrant shelters (or as AOC no longer calls them, ‘concentration camps’), alarming child welfare experts who say this compromises safety, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The move comes as Biden turns to “tent camps, convention centers and other huge facilities” which are operated by private contractors paid by the Department of Health and Human Services. In March, the administration announced that it would open eight new emergency sites across the Southwest, which will add 15,000 new beds – doubling capacity.
In order to deal with the flood of migrant children, the US government has lowered the bar required to watch them.
These emergency sites don’t have to be licensed by state authorities or provide the same services as permanent HHS facilities. They also cost far more, an estimated $775 per child per day.
And to staff the sites quickly, the Biden administration has waived vetting procedures intended to protect minors from potential harm.
Staff and volunteers directly caring for children at new emergency sites don’t have to undergo FBI fingerprint checks, which use criminal databases not accessible to the public and can overcome someone changing their name or using a false identity. -Chicago Tribune
As NPR reported last month, there is little oversight at the mass shelters holding tens of thousands of migrant children, while “Some of the facilities holding children these days are run by contractors already facing lawsuits claiming that children were physically and sexually abused in their shelters under the Trump administration, while others are new companies with little or no experience working with migrant children. Collectively, the emergency facilities can accommodate nearly 18,000 children, according to data the agency provided earlier this month.”
In April, Tex. Gov. Greg Abbott called for the Biden administration to close a San Antonio facility for migrant children following allegations of sexual assault.
“In short, this facility is a health and safety nightmare,” said Abbott.
And now, caregivers watching migrant children won’t require an FBI background check – though HHS says they still have to pass “public record criminal background checks,” which “generally take less time but are reliant on the subject providing correct information.”
The agency also says that those giving direct care are supervised by federal employees or others who have passed fingerprint-based background checks (like the 5,000+ Pentagon employees who had child porn on their computers, we assume).
According to HHS’ inspector general, FBI fingerprint checks “provide a unique safeguard.”
“While the various background checks could identify some past criminal convictions or sexual offenses, these checks were not as extensive as the FBI fingerprint background checks.”
Laura Nodolf, the district attorney in Midland, Texas, where HHS opened an emergency site this month, said that without fingerprint checks, “we truly do not know who the individual is who is providing direct care.”
“That’s placing the children under care of HHS in the path, potentially, of a sex offender,” Nodolf said. “They are putting these children in a position of becoming potential victims.”
Dr. Amy Cohen, a child psychiatrist who is executive director of the immigration advocacy group Every Last One, noted that HHS requires fingerprint checks of relatives who seek to take in children as part of a vetting process that takes more than 30 days on average.
“Failure to check fingerprints of frontline facility staff exposes vulnerable migrant children to a significant danger of physical and sexual abuse,” she said. -Chicago Tribune
There are currently more than 18,000 children and teenagers in US custody – a figure which rises almost daily.
We’re sure Kamala is on the case.
Tue, 06/01/2021 – 20:20