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Rep. Jordan Subpoenas HHS Secretary Becerra for Case Files of Criminal Illegal Immigrant Children (Video)

Rep. Jordan Subpoenas HHS Secretary for Case Files of Criminal Illegal Immigrant Children


The House Judiciary Committee says the department has stonewalled attempts to review the case files of criminal illegal immigrant children.



February 22, 2024 (Updated): House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) subpoenaed Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Xavier Becerra on Feb. 20, demanding the case files of unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors who have been charged with crimes in the United States.


Mr. Jordan notified the secretary of the subpoena via letter, stating that HHS’s failure to provide full access to the requested materials was “unacceptable.”


The Judiciary Committee sought the files as part of its oversight of HHS’s “mismanagement” of the placement of illegal immigrant children, which Mr. Jordan said had resulted in “heinous criminal acts against Americans.”



The chairman recounted how, starting in June 2023, the Judiciary Committee had repeatedly requested full access to the documents, only to receive “a variety of baseless excuses” in response as to why the materials were being withheld.


“Among other excuses, HHS noted its concern for the privacy interests of criminal aliens and asserted that the Committee lacked a legitimate oversight purpose to obtain the case files,” Mr. Jordan wrote.


The back-and-forth continued for months until, eventually, the two parties reached an agreement. Members of the committee agreed to review the documents “in camera,” or in private, and allow HHS staff to propose redactions prior to or during the review.


But when committee staff began to review the files, “it became clear that HHS had applied pervasive redactions to the documents—without notice to the Committee.”


Mr. Jordan noted that the “extensive” redactions included more than just the personal identifying information and personal health information of the unaccompanied alien child (UAC) to include unrelated question fields and, in some cases, entire pages of information.


“HHS redacted entire narrative fields throughout many of the materials, including, for example, information about the route of travel taken by the UAC prior to illegally entering the U.S. and ‘serious incident reports’—reports completed by HHS employees that document significant incidents related to UACs while in HHS custody.”


Other redacted details included whether specific minors had “identifying scars, marks, or tattoos,” which can be indicative of gang affiliation, as well as information explicitly requested by the committee.


“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 constitutional oversight obligations,” Mr. Jordan wrote.


HHS did not respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment. But in a statement provided to NBC News, an HHS spokesperson accused House Republicans of “offering a false pretense for a subpoena while still refusing to take action on immigration reform and border security.”


“As much as we realize that House Judiciary Republicans would like to build a narrative of stonewalling, the facts remain clear: HHS already voluntarily shared the documents in question to the Committee weeks ago,” the spokesperson said. “The sole information sought by the Committee is the personally identifiable information, medical records, and protected health information of children.”


The spokesperson added that the committee’s purpose for obtaining “such personal information” remains “unclear.”


The subpoena marks the second Mr. Jordan has issued Mr. Becerra in the last month. The first, issued on Jan. 23, demanded that the secretary provide documents and information about HHS’s policies for placing unaccompanied minors, vetting sponsors, and minors affiliated with criminals and gangs.


The Judiciary Committee invited Mr. Becerra to testify publicly on March 7 about his department’s “stonewalling” of oversight efforts, but he declined, according to a House Judiciary GOP X post.


“As Americans demand accountability, we await his response,” committee staff wrote.


Source: The Epoch Times


Ryan Morgan contributed to this report.


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