Blackburn, Ossoff Launch Inquiry into Reports of Dangerous Conditions for Children in CBP Custody

June 26, 2024

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – U.S. Senate Human Rights Subcommittee Ranking Member Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Subcommittee Chairman Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) are launching a bipartisan inquiry with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about reports of dangerous conditions for vulnerable children who are being held at the border awaiting processing in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities.

Public reporting in recent years has highlighted dangerous conditions for children in CBP custody, including reported deaths, abuse, and medical neglect. DHS’s Office of the Inspector General has found repeated violations of both the CBP National Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention, and Search and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, including overcrowding in holding facilities; holding unaccompanied children for longer than 72 hours; failing to adequately separate children from unrelated members of the opposite sex while in federal detention or custody; and failing to provide children with showers, hygiene products, and clean bedding.

“Secure borders keep Georgia’s and Tennessee’s families safe. Strengthening border security requires vast resources, order, and humanity to help vulnerable children navigate an uncertain process,” the Senators wrote to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “Protecting the human rights of children is both a moral and legal imperative, and border enforcement must be humane.”

The full text of the inquiry is here.