Filemon Vela

Representing the 34 District of Texas

PRESS RELEASE: Vela Demands Answers from HHS on Separated Families

July 5, 2018
Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: Vela Demands Answers from HHS on Separated Families

Washington – Today, following claims from a top U.S. Department of Health and Human Services official that congressional visits to resettlement facilities are distracting the agency from reuniting families, Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX) released the following statement:


"I don’t know which scenario is worse. HHS is either lying, keeping secrets, or both. First, they revealed that 2,300 children had been separated from their parents, but now they declare the number is closer to 3,000. It is blatantly obvious that they are hiding the real truth by being unwilling to reveal the facts to the American public, the media, and to the United States Congress.


For HHS to suggest that Congress is thwarting their efforts to reunite families by simply searching for facts is a startling assertion. It appears that HHS leadership fails to recognize that the United States is a democracy, and that Congress, with its power of the purse and oversight responsibility, is both entitled and obligated to make its own determination regarding what is becoming an obviously inept attempt to simply place children back together with their parents.


I would suggest that, to restore American humanity to this wayward family destruction experiment and to reunify families ripped apart, the Trump Administration simply send congressional leadership all of the information they have with respect to these families so that the United States Congress can organize an effort to once and for all reunite children with their parents."