And after the hearing… nothing


(SB) – Exasperating.
Watching and listening to Congressional hearings, that’s what I felt – exasperated. Throughout, and no matter what the hearing subject, persons being asked questions, did and said everything but answer forthrightly. Here’s but one example
Sen. Josh Hawley: You testified a moment ago that every [migrant] child gets a Know Your Rights presentation. Is that right?
Biden Administration Official (BAO): Yes, that’s correct.
Hawley: Is that before or after you release them to labor traffickers?
BAO: Senator, every child that comes into our care gets a Know Your Rights presentation as well as…
Hawley: Have you read these New York Times reports, the series of stories done on the children who are in your care. Have you read them?
BAO: Yes.
Hawley: Have you read that children are scrubbing dishes, that they are operating heavy machinery, delivering meals, they are harvesting coffee, they are working construction, working as housekeepers, working over night shifts at plants, where they are not paid, they are not going to school, not cared for, not given meals, all of this illegally. Are you aware of that? That’s a yes or no.
BAO: Yes.
Hawley: Does the Know Your Rights presentations help them in those situations?
BAO: Senator, we are…
Hawley: That’s a yes or no, I think.
BAO: Uhm.
Hawley: Do you really think you are helping these children by releasing them to labor traffickers, and yes, sex traffickers… that’s 85,000 children you have no contact with, and your answer is we gave them a presentation and turn them over to these people who are exploiting them on a scale not seen in this country for over 100 years… a century, a century. It’s a disgrace in the United States of America.
Let me ask you this: You did an audit I noticed where you gave yourself a clean bill of health, so just tell me this… Do you require sponsors to document their relationship with the child?
BAO: Senator, we have a thorough vetting process –
Hawley: Do you require sponsors to document their relationship with the child?
BAO: Yes –
Hawley: No, you do not. You do not. Have you read the Senate’s Permanent Investigation Subcommittee on your office? There was one in 2016, one in 2018, there was one in 2020, there was one in 2022 – spanning two administrations – and what they found was you do not require sponsors to document their relationship with the child. You release them anyway.
What about background checks? Do you require background checks on all the adults in the household?
BAO: In cases where the child is being released to their parents we do not require background checks. But Senator, I –
Hawley: Do you require background checks on all the adults in any case?
BAO: Yes, in some cases we do.
Hawley: What percentage of cases do you do background checks on the adults in the household?
BAO: I don’t know that.
Hawley: Do you do home visits in all cases? Do you actually see where these children are being released and whose care you are putting them in?
BAO: We do not do home visits… Senator, I would like the opportunity to talk about what we are doing –
Hawley: I do know what you are doing and it’s totally and incredibly inadequate… and we can read about it in the New York Times.
You’ve said you’ve read it… Let’s talk a little about that New York Times report if we could. Here’s a quote from the April 17 installment: “Again and again, veteran government staffers and outside contractors told the Health and Human Services Department, including in reports that reached Secretary Xavier Becerra, that children appeared to be at risk”
Did you warn the Secretary that children were at risk?
BAO: Senator, I am in regular contact with the Secretary and children well-being is our top priority.
Hawley: Did you warn him that children were at risk?
BAO: I’m not going to get into the conversations and –
Hawley: You’re here and you are under oath and this is an oversight hearing and we need to know what you are doing? You are manifestly not doing your job. Did you warn him that children were at risk?
Do you believe that children are at risk? Let’s start with that.
BAO: Yes.
Hawley: Did you warn the Secretary?
BAO: Senator, I am not going to get into the specifics of my conversation, but I would like to have the opportunity to –
Hawley: Why wouldn’t you warn the Secretary that children were at risk?
BAO: I would like to talk about –
Hawley: Let’s look at what the Secretary said to you: “At least five HHS staff members,,, said they were pushed out after raising concerns about child safety.”
“Mr. Becerra told… the O.R.R. (Office of Refugee Resettlement} director (the BAO being questioned) that if she could not increase the number of discharges, he would find someone who could.
“Twenty percent of kids have to be released every week or you get dinged.”
He went on to say: “If Henry Ford had seen this in his plants, he would have never become famous and rich. This is not the way you do an assembly line.”
Get the kids out, run them through, get ‘em out to those sponsors, those traffickers. Why didn’t you resign we he said this? Do you think [what the Secretary said] is morally acceptable?
BAO: Senator, I joined O.R.R. in September of 2022. I believe that was reported prior to my arrival, but I cannot say –
Hawley: But this is from an article this year.
BAO: I can’t speak to what the Secretary –
Hawley: Do you think that this is acceptable – to run O.R.R. like an assembly line and to release these children to traffickers?
BAO: I can assure you that we do not run O.R.R. like an assembly line. The safety and well-being of our children is our top concern, and by –
Hawley: Plainly not. Plainly it is not your top concern because you have managed to lose 85,000 [of those children], and the NY Times knows where they are – at least 2/3 of them, and they are with labor traffickers. It’s unbelievable!
Let me ask you this: How many kids right now – the 430,000 approximately, unaccompanied children crossed the border under this administration – an astounding number – how many are you in regular contact with right now?
BAO: Senator, we have a number of different providers across the country –
Hawley: What’s the number? What’s the number?
BAO: I don’t have a specific number –
Hawley: How can you not know!?!? Why would you come to this hearing and not know?
BAO: Respectfully, if you would like us to provide comprehensive case management to children after their release from our care so –
Hawley: Respectfully, I would like you to do your job and not release children to human traffickers. Respectfully, that’s what I would like. I would like you not to facilitate the largest child trafficking ring in American history.
Back to the point of this commentary.
I wanted you to read for yourself just one hearing out of hundreds taking place on any given month, what we have running our government agencies and how they operate. I wanted you to read what you are paying for. If you look closely at the answers to the inquiries, you’ll find a bureaucrat that is only interested in keeping his/her job, and not one iota of what is correct, morally right, and American.
For shame.