However, a month after Bethera’s tenure, officials working on this issue were divided into historically unmanageable political divisions with his preparations to manage such a vast emergency. I personally questioned the willingness to take ownership of the issue.
“When he first came, he didn’t fully understand the problem,” said one senior. Administrative officer. “It was a steep learning curve for him.”
The White House was disappointed with the slow progress and concluded that the Besera team needed it. We support the organization of care to accommodate the growing number of migrant children throughout the shelters managed by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Refugee Resettlement Administration. The population is rapidly approaching 20,000.
Its scrutiny increased on Friday after Biden chose to maintain a historically low cap on refugee entry. Some supporters have blamed the administration’s struggle to deal with unaccompanied minors, even though they are being treated in another system.
HHS spokesman Mark Webber admitted that there was tension within the administration over this effort, but disputed criticism that Bethera’s role was inaccurate and unfair.
“It suggests he’s not aware of the problem … it’s not clear from the inside,” he said, and Besera is deeply involved and his senior coach to discuss the growing number of immigrant children. He added that he would meet with his team several times a day. Border. “Unless you know what’s going on, you won’t be appointed Secretary of HHS.”
The White House repeatedly refused Characterize An increase in unaccompanied children as a “crisis”, even though border arrivals far outweigh the previous increases seen between the Obama and Trump administrations.
But Recognized as Bethera’s aide to the coronavirus response, Dawn O’Connell divides his time working on the immigrant situation because of his experience managing the Obama-era immigration surge.Kate Wolf, a former Obama administration chief of staff at the refugee office, has also recently I rejoined HHS to advise on this issue.
In addition to Bethera’s direct office, Biden’s top executives are considering adding experts to the entire FEMA, where the White House was tasked with helping the health sector secure additional shelters. I will.
The HHS Emergency Preparedness Office and parts of the Department of Defense are also currently helping to accommodate and expedite migrant children with parents and other sponsors across the country.
“In every respect, they face challenges that are just outside their comfort zone,” a senior government official said of the refugee office. “We are trying to build scaffolding around them to explain or mitigate some of their own gaps, because in a sense it’s a completely different culture.”
On average, the Ministry of Health releases more than 300 children a day to sponsors. This is the first detention facility where children are taken in response to the expected surge in unaccompanied children coming to the United States.
In March, more than 18,800 unaccompanied children crossed the border and the Customs and Border Protection Bureau statistics The show has almost doubled since February, setting a new record high. This is a record that is likely to be eaten within a few weeks. So far this month, hundreds of children have arrived at the border each day.
Over the past two months, the government has sought to expand its capabilities, opening 12 new emergency shelters and recruiting volunteers throughout the government, from NASA to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Additional staff from HHS and the Department of Homeland Security are assigned to case management only to speed up the placement of sponsored children. Thousands more staff have been dispatched to shelters and borders to support the process.
However, they first needed training, which slowed the pace of reinforcements. And even if health authorities streamline the placement process, children still spend an average of more than a month on HHS care.
“We are dissatisfied with the speed at which HHS reacts to the flow of unaccompanied children,” said a person familiar with the situation. “We are fully responsible for avoiding it, but we hope HHS will be at the forefront of this.”
Weber said the ministry stepped up in the face of unprecedented challenges, such as pandemic precautions with limited beds in shelters and job freezes during the Trump era, which forced refugee offices to run short. Said.Indeed, forwarding From detention centers to shelters operated by HHS Recently, the number of children detained at the border has begun to more than halve from the March high of about 5,700.
“HHS is a child welfare institution, not an immigration institution,” Weber said. “Due diligence during periods of large influx adds complexity, so we ensure that it continues in a way that unifies children safely and at all speeds. “
“Everyone is very worried about the need to move migrant children from border facilities more quickly, from the president down,” the Pope said in an interview. But she added that the health sector needs to be more witty to achieve that.
“There are several ways to solve it, but they all require agencies to be more creative and do things differently,” she said. Children, but do so in a way that doesn’t bother them. “
Meanwhile, Bethera’s allies at Capitol Hill have decided that the government is using him as a scapegoat for border predicament, despite ongoing challenges straddling the powers of several agencies and authorities. Recently expressed concern.
Increasing scrutiny is an ominous start for the renowned former California Attorney General Bethera, who has little experience in health policy, but has played a leading role in the pandemic response and President Joe Biden’s ambitious health. Ready to fulfill the agenda.
Instead, Besera got stuck in management One of Biden’s biggest problems: A crisis with no signs of decline and no easy solution. The challenge, combined with Covid-19, spent his first few weeks. Even now, more than a month after his term as Secretary of Health and Welfare, Besera does not offer a comprehensive vision for this sector.
“He is one of the busiest men in the government given his institution’s portfolio,” said Sergio Gonzalez, secretary-general of the advocacy organization Immigration Hub and former senior policy adviser to Sen at the time. I will. Kamala Harris. “He had to start work in many ways.”
Rep. Henry Cuellar (Democratic Party), who repeatedly scolded the administration for stumbling blocks of immigrants, also downplayed criticism of Besera and claimed that he was probably doing the most difficult job of any civil servant working on the issue.
“You can’t just put your kids in the warehouse,” he said. “You have to provide education, food, a place for them to sleep, a place for them to recreation. It’s all a daunting task.”
For all the work going on within HHS, Besera is far enough away from the spotlight so far.Son of Mexican immigrants The person who once said Their experience shaped everything he did, He has rarely commented publicly on the border situation and has not yet visited the Refugee Resettlement Administration shelter. At Capitol Hill, a parliamentary aide said Bethera was not consistently involved in explaining the border situation to lawmakers. Instead, these discussions are usually led by White House personnel.
A Parliamentary Hispanic caucuse, chaired by Besera, called for a meeting with him to discuss a variety of issues, including an increase in unaccompanied children. However, aides in the caucuses said they could not be resolved on a date. Tentatively, ORR representatives explained their work to caucuses every week. Members also recently met with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas.
Some Democrats, including New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, defended the progress of HHS so far, arguing that the administration had to rebuild the system weakened by former President Donald Trump.Biden’s aide has accused Trump officials of knowing an influx of unaccompanied children, but is still waiting Only a few days before Biden took office Take action.
However, Besera’s modest approach raises suspicions among those involved in immigration activities that he hesitates to be considered to own the problem so that he does not face the problem. I did. Republicans have previously targeted Besera on immigration issues, emphasizing his past support for extending health care to undocumented immigrants.
“This is his agency. They did a particularly terrible job, and he doesn’t want to be blamed for it,” said one familiar with the situation.
Weber, a spokesman for the department, rejected the proposal, adding that Besera was likely to go to some shelters soon. Others were one of the last cabinet bureaucrats confirmed by the Senate, the public absence of Besera on many imminent issues across HHS and the need to adjust his position as a relatively newcomer. I wrote it in chalk.
“Later, when he starts talking about health care and affordable health care, you’ll see him everywhere,” Quela repeatedly talked to Besera about the growing number of unaccompanied children. Said. “But for this, he’s taking the right approach, and that approach bows your head and does your job.”
Work is likely to continue in the coming months and could ruin Bethera’s health agenda by forcing him to manage policy fallouts set by agencies outside Bethera’s scope. He will not be the first Secretary of Health involved in the border crisis: Alex Azar, Trump’s HHS Secretary, had a reunion of children and parents after immigration authorities imposed a family separation policy...
In the case of Besera, it became a mirror image and managed the influx of children after the Biden administration reversed Trump’s approach of immediately expelling unaccompanied minors.
“In the long run, the answer needs to address the underlying problems of the country in which the children are born,” said Mark Greenberg, a former Obama HHS employee at the Institute for Immigration Policy. “But that’s not something you can do right away.”
The health department has already signed a contract worth more than $ 500 million for staffing and services for the children it cares for, and is scouting for additional emergency shelters in California. I will. It also streamlines the process of unifying children, including exempting most of the background checks of relatives who live in the same household as the sponsor.
At a parliamentary hearing on Thursday, Besera accused the Trump administration of “destroying” much of ORR’s infrastructure, and offering a variety of services was “more burdensome because we found less space. It’s getting harder and harder. “Warned that fewer will be found. He emphasized the need to move children quickly out of the ORR shelter, but Besera warned that it needed to be done responsibly.
Biden ordered Harris to address the root cause of cross-southern immigrants, and Mallorcus emerged as a key advocate of the administration’s policies, but authorities are responsible for Besera to control the influx of immigrant children. It revealed that. Minimize the chances of the White House facing harmful images of children flocking to sparse border facilities.
“We need to handle fewer licensed beds, but more children,” Besera said in a hearing in favor of the scale of difficulties in his department. “You can see how it’s a challenge, but we’re doing it.”
Border blame spurs a game of blame in Biden’s world
Source link Border blame spurs a game of blame in Biden’s world