This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
A new government watchdog report finds the Office of Refugee Resettlement failed to vet many of its employees to prevent potential sexual predators from working with unaccompanied illegal alien children ostensibly in its care.
The report, titled, "The Office of the Refugee Resettlement Needs to Improve its Practices for Background Checks During Influxes," was just released by the HHS Office of Inspector General. Just the News reported Tuesday on its findings:
"Federal regulations explicitly prohibit ORR — tasked with the 'care and placement" of unaccompanied migrant children (UAC) — from 'hiring or enlisting the services' of anyone to work with children if they have any documented history of sexual misconduct. However, the ORR is allowed to 'waive or modify' background checks so long as it's 'for good cause,' like an emergency," Just the News reported Tuesday.
A brief of the OIG report explains the genesis of the crisis without connecting it to the chaos and weak border policies that began on Day One of the Biden Presidency: "During the Federal fiscal year 2021, an unprecedented number of unaccompanied children began arriving at the U.S. southern border. The Office of Refugee Resettlement ... had to act quickly to increase the number of shelter beds because additional capacity was needed to manage the increasing numbers of unaccompanied children referred by the Department of Homeland Security and to implement COVID-19 mitigation strategies. As a result, ORR reactivated 1 existing influx care facility (ICF) and opened 14 emergency intake sites (EISs)."
The OIG report explains that the ORR opens an "Influx Care Facility," or ICF, "when its licensed care provider network does not have sufficient standard bed space available to provide shelter and services for children during an influx or emergency."
It states that an "Emergency Intake Site," or EIS, is a "new type of care provider facility that ORR quickly opened during March and April of 2021 to reduce the number of children in DHS custody while greatly expanding ORR’s capacity...EISs are meant to be short-term facilities, generally opened for less than 6 months. EISs are not licensed by the State and are opened in the event of a severe shortage of beds in ORR’s licensed care provider network."
"The issues we identified occurred primarily because the influx of unaccompanied children required ORR to rapidly set up new facilities in order to expand capacity as well as develop formal policies and procedures related to the EISs." a brief of the Inspector General report states.
The report explains why FBI fingerprint checks are better at protecting against potential predators than a background check on the employee's name: "Using an FBI fingerprint check of national and State registries ensures positive identification and eliminates errors that may arise under name-based public records checks, overcomes the risk of someone changing his or her name or using a false identity, and allows for criminal history searches across databases not accessible to the public."
JTN reports the Inspector General exposé comes just as there is renewed focus, even in left-leaning media, on the Biden administration's failure to account for tens of thousands of "unaccompanied migrant children" who were housed in the emergency refugee facilities, and who were supposed to be tracked through their vetted sponsors.
A February New York Times report headlined "Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S." found that many of the illegal alien children are working long shifts (often illegally) at manual labor jobs, sometimes after attending school. It reports a whopping 85,000 of the children have been lost in the system:
The number of unaccompanied minors entering the United States climbed to a high of 130,000 last year — three times what it was five years earlier — and this summer is expected to bring another wave.
These are not children who have stolen into the country undetected. The federal government knows they are in the United States, and the Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for ensuring sponsors will support them and protect them from trafficking or exploitation.
But as more and more children have arrived, the Biden White House has ramped up demands on staffers to move the children quickly out of shelters and release them to adults. Caseworkers say they rush through vetting sponsors.
While H.H.S. checks on all minors by calling them a month after they begin living with their sponsors, data obtained by The Times showed that over the last two years, the agency could not reach more than 85,000 children. Overall, the agency lost immediate contact with a third of migrant children.
Just the News reports: "Pressed in an oversight hearing last month, ORR Director Robin Dunn Marcos was unable to answer questions about the missing 85,000 missing children and the process for screening their sponsors, according to the committee."
"In @GOPoversight just now I asked the ORR Director why 85,000 children from the border are missing once they're placed to sponsors through her agency," Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs tweeted at the time, according to JTN. "She had no answers. The Biden Administration has faux compassion for these kids."
To rectify the problem of adequate safety checks, the OIG report recommends that the Office of Refugee Resettlement: