U.S. Senators Katie Britt, Chuck Grassley, Colleagues Move to Overturn Biden Admin Rule Enabling Abuse of Unaccompanied Migrant Children 

June 27, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2024 — U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) recently joined Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and a bipartisan group of 44 of their Senate colleagues in introducing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to strike down a Biden Administration rule that endangers the safety and wellbeing of unaccompanied alien children who cross the border into the United States.

The resolution would force meaningful reforms to the government’s Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program.

“The unfortunate reality is that the Biden Administration’s border crisis is both a humanitarian and a national security disaster of historic magnitude. This rule is the latest in a series of inhumane, reckless policies that only pour fuel on the fire. Instead of enabling cartels and other bad actors to traffic and exploit more innocent children, it’s well past time to secure the border and end the lawlessness,” said Senator Britt. “I’ll continue to stand up to President Biden’s dangerous agenda, which is putting American families and vulnerable migrants in harm’s way every single day.”

“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,” said Senator Grassley. 


Migrant children who enter the U.S. illegally without an adult are detained and placed in the UAC program, run by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). HHS’ UAC program is intended to reunify unaccompanied migrant children with family members or other trusted adult sponsors residing in the U.S. However, the proper policies and practices are not currently in place to protect these children from potential abuses and exploitation. The federal government pays contractors and grantees billions of taxpayer dollars to operate the UAC program and enforce HHS’s negligent policies.

The HHS rule the Senator are seeking to overturn, which was finalized in April of this year, codifies harmful practices, including:  

  • Lax or optional sponsor vetting;
  • Refusal to consider a sponsor’s criminal record, including illegal drug use, history of abuse or neglect, or other necessarily disqualifying child welfare concerns;  
  • Refusal to share a sponsor’s immigration status with law enforcement; 
  • Weak standards for post-release home studies to determine a child’s status or safety once in the custody of a sponsor; and
  • 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 additionally cosponsored by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senators Joe Manchin (I-W.Va.), John Cornyn (R-Tex.), 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.Dak.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebr.), Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), John Hoeven (R-N.Dak.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), 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-Nebr.), Jerry Moran (R-Kans.), Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Mike Rounds (R-S.Dak.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Thune (R-S.Dak.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.). 

Full text of the resolution can be viewed here.