Walorski Presses Becerra on Reports of Foster Youth Displaced Due to Border Crisis
Ways and Means Republicans Recently Called on HHS to Provide Transparency on Impacts of Surge of Unaccompanied Minors Across Border
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) on Tuesday pressed Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra on reports that American children and youth in foster care have been displaced from their residences due to the border crisis and surge of unaccompanied migrant children.
“The Biden administration has a responsibility to acknowledge that what we are seeing at the southern border is indeed a crisis, and that its misguided policies are to blame,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “The Biden administration also has a duty to address the downstream effects of the current border crisis. We’ve seen local news reports from Washington and Texas about foster youth being displaced and forced to vacate their residences in order to make room for unaccompanied migrant children. This is extremely alarming, especially given the already limited availability of more permanent placements for foster children.”
Video of Walorski questioning Becerra at the Ways and Means Committee hearing on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) FY2022 budget proposal is available here.
More than 400,000 children and youth are in foster care nationwide, and recent press reports from the states of Washington and Texas have raised concerns about foster youth forced to vacate their residences to provide accommodations for unaccompanied migrant children.
Walorski, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support, last week joined other Republican leaders in calling on Secretary Becerra to provide transparency on the impact of the border crisis on U.S. foster youth.
Along with Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Oversight Subcommittee Republican Leader Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), and Oversight and Reform Committee Republican Leader James Comer (R-Ky.), Walorski sent Becerra a letter requesting information about $2.1 billion in funds HHS has diverted to cover the cost of caring for more than 29,000 migrant children who have crossed the border this year. Approximately 18,000 unaccompanied migrant children are currently in the care of HHS.
Read the full letter here.
In April, Ways and Means Republicans requested Secretary Becerra provide a briefing on the impact of the crisis on the foster care system. Walorski and Kelly previously called on the HHS Inspector General to investigate the toll on U.S. foster children.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee.