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U.S. Waived Background Checks for Staff at Jail for Migrant Children

HeadlineNov 28, 2018

In Texas, a newly revealed memo shows the Trump administration waived rigorous background checks for all staff at a sprawling tent camp where migrant children are imprisoned in the desert outside El Paso. The memo from the Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general shows the Office of Refugee Resettlement approved a plan to sidestep requirements for FBI fingerprinting checks—along with child abuse and neglect checks—for 2,100 staffers at the Tornillo tent city. The camp was also allowed to sidestep mental health requirements, which require one mental health clinician for every 12 children. Tornillo has just one clinician for every 100 children. The Trump administration established the tent camp in Tornillo in June as a temporary shelter amid the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which included forcibly separating children from their parents. It has since expanded to contain 3,800 beds for migrant children, with officials saying they’re unlikely to meet federal plans to close Tornillo by New Year’s Eve.

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