Sen. Scott Joins Effort to Overturn Biden Rule Enabling Abuse of Unaccompanied Migrant Children

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and 44 of their Senate colleagues in introducing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to strike down the Biden administration’s rule endangering the safety and wellbeing of unaccompanied alien children. The CRA would force meaningful reforms to the government’s Unaccompanied Children (UC) program.

“From the moment he took office, President Biden unleashed a self-made border disaster. His open border policies have created chaos, put American lives at risk, and empowered the smugglers and cartels that endanger unaccompanied children,” said Senator Scott. “Congress needs to act to push back on the Biden administration’s incompetence at the border, end the exploitation of children, and protect innocent Americans.”

The Biden administration ignored warnings from Congress and the Inspector General that its policies put children at risk and instead moved to finalize its current rule. Biden’s Health and Human Services Department has lost tens of thousands of vulnerable kids and handed over many others to abusers and criminals. This exploitation is one of the most heartbreaking tragedies the Biden Border Crisis has created. Since the Biden administration has refused to lift a finger to fix this problem, it’s now up to Congress to put a stop to it,Senator Grassley said.


Migrant children who enter the U.S. illegally without an adult are detained and placed in the UC program, run by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). HHS’s UC program is intended to reunify unaccompanied migrant children with family members or other trusted adult sponsors residing in the U.S. The federal government pays contractors and grantees billions of taxpayer dollars to operate the UC program and enforce HHS’s negligent policies.

The HHS rule Senator Scott is seeking to overturn, which was finalized in April, codifies harmful practices, including:

  1. Lax or optional sponsor vetting;
  2. Refusal to consider a sponsor’s criminal record, including illegal drug use, history of abuse or neglect, or other necessarily disqualifying child welfare concerns;
  3. Refusal to share a sponsor’s immigration status with law enforcement;
  4. Weak standards for post-release home studies to determine a child’s status or safety once in the custody of a sponsor; and
  5. Restrictions on whistleblowers’ rights to disclose to Congress and the HHS Inspector General (IG) information on wrongdoing and misconduct in the program.

The resolution is also cosponsored by Senator Joe Manchin (I-W.Va.), Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Cindy Hyde-Smith, (R-Miss.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and John Boozman (R-Ark.).

Text of the resolution can be found here