House Judiciary Committee Issues Subpoena for Health and Human Services Secretary, Accuses Agency of Concealing Gang Affiliations of Illegal Minors Charged With Serious Crimes

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Written By Maya Cantina

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra

Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, issued a subpoena for Health and Human Services  (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra on Tuesday requesting case files on unaccompanied child migrants charged with crimes in the U.S. after being released by HHS.

The letter accuses Becerra of concealing the gang affiliations of illegal aliens who are minors and are then caught committing serious crimes like theft, brutal assault, and murder.

According to a press release, since June 2023, the Committee has requested several HHS case files for criminal aliens “but has been stonewalled by HHS, which has baselessly withheld the case files for months.”

“As an extraordinary accommodation to HHS, the Committee agreed to review the case file materials in camera; however, once Committee staff began to review the documents, it became clear that HHS had applied pervasive redactions to the documents—without notice to the Committee. Across multiple case files, HHS redacted information about whether specific UACs had ‘identifying scars, marks, or tattoos’—information that can be indicative of gang affiliation. Worse, HHS went so far as to redact information explicitly requested by the Committee, including information shared with HHS by other agencies and immigration case history information.”

“By unilaterally redacting the case files, HHS rendered the requested materials provided for in camera review all but useless, frustrating and impeding the Committee’s investigation into HHS’ release of criminal aliens into the U.S.”

In the letter to Secretary Becerra, Rep. Jordan concludes,

HHS’s failure to provide the requested case file materials hinders the Committee’s ability to fulfill its constitutional oversight obligations and is unacceptable. The Supreme Court has recognized that Congress has a “broad and indispensable” power to conduct oversight, which “encompasses inquiries into the administration of existing laws, studies of proposed laws, and surveys in our social, economic or political system for the purpose of enabling Congress to remedy them.”26 Pursuant to the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee has jurisdiction to conduct oversight of matters concerning federal immigration law to inform potential legislative reforms. These potential legislative reforms could include reforming HHS ORR’s placement process, including to ensure criminal aliens are held in secure placements, rather than being released to a sponsor, or to enhance the level of scrutiny ORR applies in vetting UACs and potential sponsors before UACs are released in the care of a sponsor.

Accordingly, and considering your disregard of our earlier voluntary requests and rejection of the extraordinary accommodation as offered by the Committee, please find attached a subpoena for the requested documents and information.

Read the full letter below.

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