October 24, 2018 Press Release

Scathing Report Confirms More Oversight of HHS’s Role in Family Separation Crisis is Needed

Equity Forward demands Congressional action as reports of incompetence grow

10.24.18 – Earlier this morning, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report which confirmed that Secretary Alex Azar’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was woefully unprepared to handle the more than 2,600 children ripped from their families at the border this summer.

Today’s condemnation follows Secretary Azar blatantly misleading Congress when he boasted that he could find any child in HHS custody “within seconds.”  This fabrication came as scores of migrant children were being ripped from their parents, and many children in HHS custody were shipped off to “tent cities” with questionable conditions and no schooling.

Said Mary Alice Carter, Executive Director of Equity Forward:

“How many more reports of incompetence at HHS do we need before Congress finally takes action and holds Secretary Azar accountable for his role in the family separation crisis?  

“From standing with Refugee Chief Scott Lloyd – a political hack whose only experience is as an anti-abortion ideologue – to flat out lying about the existence of a central database during the crisis, it’s clear Azar is not the even-keeled technocrat he claims to be. The fact that he’s willing to play fast and loose with the truth when it comes to the lives of children – many of whom may never see their families again – is horrific. Congress must exercise its oversight authority and demand answers from those responsible for one of the greatest self-inflicted humanitarian disasters of our time.”

Equity Forward has long been sounding the alarm on Azar’s HHS and specifically Lloyd as Refugee Director.  This summer, Equity Forward launched a seven-figure ad campaign to urge Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities over HHS.  The campaign is part of Equity Forward’s “HHS Watch,” a project to promote transparency and accountability at the Department of Health and Human Services