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Public Health Actions Affecting Unaccompanied Children: Coordination Between CDC and the Office of Refugee Resettlement

The Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) Program, operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), provides care and placement for children without lawful immigration status who do not have a parent or guardian in the United States available to take custody. In March 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a public health order intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Pursuant to the CDC order, the Department of Homeland Security has substantially reduced the number of children referred to the UAC Program, instead expelling such children immediately or detaining them in hotels until they are repatriated. Effective coordination between CDC and ORR is critical to ensure that HHS fulfills its responsibilities toward vulnerable children. We will assess the extent to which CDC has coordinated with ORR to ensure that the UAC Program has sufficient and timely information for effective capacity planning. We will also assess CDC's actions to determine and carry out its responsibilities toward children detained pursuant to the public health order and the extent to which CDC has consulted with ORR on issues pertaining to children's welfare.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
October 2020 CDC, ACF Public Health Actions Affecting Unaccompanied Children: Coordination Between CDC and the Office of Refugee Resettlement Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-BL-20-00670 2021