Durbin Statement On HHS OIG Report On Family Separation Policy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today issued the following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report on the Trump Administration’s family separation policy.  The report comes after Durbin, and several of his colleagues, sent a letter to the HHS OIG last year requesting they conduct a comprehensive review of the operations of the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program, including the treatment of children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border by the Trump Administration.

“The Trump Administration’s family separation policy is more than a bureaucratic lapse in judgment.  It is and was a cruel policy inconsistent with the values of this nation.  It’s inconceivable that the government of the United States chose to secretly separate thousands of children from their parents or guardians, was unable or unwilling to reunite these families for months due to incompetent leadership and poor planning, and still doesn’t know how many children were separated.

“Today’s bombshell report reveals the true scope of this horrific policy: that thousands of children were forcibly removed from their parents before the policy was made public and the fate of these children is still unknown.  No one has been held accountable for this humanitarian disaster at our Southern border.  Instead President Trump continues to push anti-immigrant policies making it easier to detain and deport children as a condition for reopening the government. 

“America can have border security without bullying and we can be safe without treating toddlers as terrorists.  DHS Secretary Nielsen should accept responsibility for this outrage and resign.”