WASHINGTON, DC — United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin has sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar asking for clarity regarding the treatment of the approximately 13,000 migrant children being held in detention centers across the country. Recent reporting has raised several issues of concern about the children’s welfare, the duration of their detention and how they are being transported among facilities.

“While we understand this is a complicated situation, these are children and we must put their wellbeing first.  We hope that Secretary Azar will respond to our concerns and ensure that this will not grow into the avoidable nightmare that so many immigrant children and their parents faced this summer, and which more than one hundred children still face today,” said Benjamin.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

On June 21, 2018, a bipartisan group of 18 mayors, traveled on short notice to be in Tornillo (TX) to see firsthand where immigrant children separated from their parents were being held and how they were doing.  While they were denied admission to the tent camp there, they spoke out on the issue and urged the quick reunification of these children and their families.