Despite reports of rapes and other sexual assaults, federal officials refuse to divulge any information to the public about the safety of orphaned Central American children in facilities run by third-party contractors, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.
Charges of child abuse and sexual assault have dogged the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) since it admitted in a 2014 Freedom of Information Act response to the Houston Chronicle that there were 101 “significant incident reports” of sexual abuse of unaccompanied children in the contractor facilities.
Federal officials with ORR only inspect contracted facilities every three years and depend upon contractors to self-report any crimes. Agency spokesman Victoria Palmer told TheDCNF Friday that ORR officials don’t regularly compile sexual abuse or assault data of the immigrant children living at the facilities, stating, “the statistics you are requesting are not compiled or readily available.”
That drew a sharp rebuke from Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican and outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s secretive approach to ensuring the safety of unaccompanied immigrant children held in federally funded facilities managed by government contractors.