Grassley Investigating Reports That Unaccompanied Minors Sent To Homes With MS-13 Ties
Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, during a hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. US President Joe Biden's $7.3 trillion fiscal 2025 budget proposal, unveiled on Monday, lays out a second-term vision that would deliver more services, middle-class tax breaks and price controls to voters funded through higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations.
Credit: Photographer: Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced an investigation this week into reports that unaccompanied illegal immigrant children found at the southern border were being placed by HHS with people in the United States linked to MS-13.

Grassely said that he was “conducting a sweeping review” of how HHS and its contractors find homes in the United States for illegal immigrant children who are found at the border without a parent or guardian. The Iowa Republican said he had sent letters to nine contractors to determine more about their vetting and placement process.

“My office has been informed through legally-protected whistleblower disclosures, including contractor records, showing children were sponsored without proper vetting or care, and at addresses that may be part of possible child-smuggling or trafficking rings,” Grassley wrote in the letters.  

“Shockingly, children were even placed by HHS and one of its contractors after they were notified of likely MS-13 gang affiliation in the household, and records related to this placement appear to have been deleted, a possible attempt to cover up actions taken by the contractor and HHS,” he added. 

The contractors who Grassley reached out to were Deloitte Consulting LLP, Center for Family Services, General Information Dynamics Technology, Alba Care Services, Holy Family Institute, Global Refuge, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Morrison Child and Family Services, and Sunny Glen Children’s Home. 

Grassley told the providers to provide him with specifics on how sponsors for the children are verified, records on where and how the children were transported, and how the organization tracked outcomes.

The letters also referenced “an apparent obstructive instruction” from HHS when it sent a letter on February 28 telling providers to direct questions about their work to the government agency. 


“I personally brought up HHS’ obstructive conduct directly with HHS Secretary Becerra on March 14 in a Senate Finance Committee hearing,” Grassley said. “At the hearing, Secretary Becerra affirmed that contractors have the right to respond to this congressional inquiry. Furthermore, Congress has the constitutional authority, and the duty to conduct robust oversight on government agencies and contractors who receive taxpayer money for their work.”

An inspector general report released in February found that many children were released to sponsors who had not had their fingerprints checked or been run through state child abuse registries. The report also said that over a third of the time, HHS and its contractors did not ensure documents provided by the sponsor could even be read. 

Illegal immigration has remained high under President Joe Biden with record highs of unaccompanied children being found at the border.

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