DHS & HHS under investigation for destroying immigrant family records
CONTACT: Jordan Libowitz
202-408-5565 | [email protected]
Washington—Following a complaint from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is investigating whether the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) violated the law by deleting records of immigrant families split at the border.
CREW’s July 6 complaint followed a report in the New York Times that “[r]ecords linking children to their parents have disappeared, and in some cases have been destroyed, according to two officials of the Department of Homeland Security, leaving the authorities struggling to identify connections between family members.” In hundreds of cases, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents allegedly deleted the initial records in which parents and children were listed together as a family.
“If this report is true, that would be a blatant violation of the Federal Records Act, and one with devastating human costs,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “We are glad NARA is taking this seriously, and look forward to seeing the results of their investigation.
NARA has given CBP, which is part of DHS, 30 days to respond to the allegations.