Today, First Focus Campaign for Children sent a letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham, author of the Secure and Protect Act of 2023 (S. 425), to state our opposition to the bill.

Excerpt from the letter:

If potential sponsors fear that their information will be shared with DHS, they are unlikely to come forward to sponsor a child from HHS custody. As a result, children will face prolonged stays in government custody and separated from family, mostly in large, institutionalized settings that are known to be harmful to children. The 2018 memorandum of agreement between HHS and DHS bore this out—it resulted in children remaining in ORR custody for prolonged periods and deteriorating physical, mental, and behavioral health for children. Then-Assistant Secretary of the Administration for Children and Families Lynn Johnson, appointed by President Trump, reversed extra vetting for sponsors of unaccompanied children, stating that “the government makes lousy parents” and the extra screening “is not adding anything to the protection and safety of children.”

Read the full letter here.