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Attorney General Josh Stein Urges U.S. Department of Homeland Security to Protect Children

Release date: 8/14/2019


(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today wrote U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan, Acting Director Matthew Albence, and Director Jonathan Hayes to urge them to better protect migrant children. This letter, the Attorney General’s third to DHS regarding migrant children, raises concerns about a recent $4 million grant to house children at a facility whose license to house children with mental health needs has been suspended by N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. 

“I continue to be extremely concerned about the way children are being treated at the border – but news of this grant brings new worries about how they’ll be treated in our country,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “The reported horrors at the border are deeply upsetting – we cannot allow that trauma to continue as children are moved away from the border into other facilities. We must do more to protect these children.”
From the letter:
“… I want to reiterate that my office is willing and available to help reunite migrant children with family members or legal guardians with whom they can be reunited. Three weeks ago, Director Hayes testified before Congress that his “top priority” was “to ensure the safety and well-being of the children who are placed temporarily in HHS custody” and “quickly and safely release them to suitable sponsors.” I ask you to live up to those words. We agree that these children’s safety and well-being should be the top priority. My office is willing to assist in bringing these children out of institutional settings and into caring homes.”
The letter also requests that DHS respond to Attorney General Stein’s previous requests in his two previous letters.
In those letters, Attorney General Stein requested information about:

  • any migrant children who have been moved to North Carolina,
  • any parents, either already in North Carolina or who are expected to be in North Carolina during the pendency of their immigration proceedings, who have been separated from their children as a result of the government’s “zero-tolerance” policies,
  • the facilities at which these parents and children are being and are expected to be held or housed, and
  • any migrant children in detention facilities who have parents, legal guardians, or other family members in North Carolina.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484


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