Nov 14, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Senators seek to block ICE from arresting migrant child caretakers

A split screen image with Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Kamala Harris

Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen Kamala Harris. Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Tom Williams/Getty Images

Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are unveiling a bill Wednesday that seeks to block Immigration and Customs Enforcement from using information collected by Health and Human Services to arrest family members or others who come forward to care for unaccompanied migrant children.

Why it matters: Between July and September of this year ICE reportedly arrested 41 potential caretakers of unaccompanied migrant children — most of whom were in the U.S. illegally. Critics worry that the arrests have deterred potential sponsors from coming forward to take custody of these children, which has contributed to the record number of migrant minors in HHS centers and tent cities. The Families Not Facilities Act would also transfer $220 million to HHS and FBI programs intended to care for and protect children and child migrants.

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