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Children as Bait: Impacts of the ORR-DHS Information-Sharing Agreement


In April 2018, agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security entered into an agreement to share information about unaccompanied children  in government custody and their prospective sponsors. This agreement, which went into effect in May 2018, involved changes to the reunification or sponsorship vetting process run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency within HHS’ Administration for Children and Families. It also created a new requirement for ORR to report broad information about children to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agencies within DHS.

The Women’s Refugee Commission and the National Immigrant Justice Center, deeply concerned about the potential impacts of the new Memorandum of Agreement, conducted a survey of individuals involved in the sponsorship application and vetting processes—including attorneys, biometrics technicians and fingerprint specialists, and child advocates—in order to better understand and document the full range of implications of this new MOA.

United States Children Migrant Youth Detention and Separation Rights and Justice Technical Resources