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Portman Pushes HHS Secretary on the Whereabouts of Immigrant Kids

Screen shot of Rob Portman
Portman on C-Span questoning HHS Secretary Alex Azar about placement and monitoring of immigrant children in the U.S.

Ohio’s Rob Portman was among the U.S. senators today who grilled the secretary of Health and Human Services about how it has handled thousands of children of immigrants separated from their parents. 

Portman’s concerns about a different set of immigrant children – those who entered the U.S. alone -- dates back to 2015, when officials discovered human traffickers had forced Guatemalan teens into virtual slavery on Ohio egg farms. Portman has been pushing HHS to work with Homeland Security to ensure the law is followed.

“But also that we know where these kids are, what’s happening to them, be sure they’re not trafficked, be sure they’re not being abused, but also to get them to their court dates. And not of that is my view is ensured now under the current process

He says HHS has promised him a working document by next month on how to better vet placement of children in the U.S. and how to monitor their care.

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.