Home » Jordan subpoenas HHS for case files of illegal immigrants charged with violent crimes

Jordan subpoenas HHS for case files of illegal immigrants charged with violent crimes

by John Jefferson
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FIRST ON FOX: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan on Tuesday subpoenaed the Department of Health and Human Services for the case files of a number of illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. as children and went on to be charged with violent crimes, including murder.

Jordan has been requesting case files since the summer of the illegal immigrants, who he says have been charged with crimes including theft, assault and murder, but says the response from HHS has been “woefully inadequate.”

Initially, Jordan said in a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, HHS cited the privacy interests of those charged and “asserted that the Committee lacked a legitimate oversight purpose to obtain the case files.”

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The back-and-forth over the files continued through November, until HHS offered to allow committee members to review documents on camera if officials agreed not to photograph or record documents and provide three days of notice prior to the release of any information obtained.

This drew objections from the committee, who said the files are not classified or restricted.

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“HHS’s attempt to unilaterally limit or in any way dictate how a Congressional committee lawfully uses materials to inform potential legislative reforms constitutes unacceptable interference with the workings of a coordinate branch of government and cannot be considered a good faith accommodation,” Jordan said.

Despite that, he said, the committee agreed to reviewing the documents on camera and would allow HHS to propose redactions during and after the review. However, when committee officials reviewed the documents, they found that HHS had applied what he called “pervasive” redactions to the documents, including not only personal information but entire narrative passages including routes of travel taken by the immigrants and “serious incident reports” while they were in custody.

“Across multiple case files, HHS redacted information about whether specific UACs had ‘identifying scars, marks, or tattoos’—information that can be indicative of gang affiliation,” Jordan said. “Worse, HHS went so far as to redact information explicitly requested by the Committee, including information shared with HHS by other agencies and immigration case history information.”

“By unilaterally redacting the case files, HHS rendered the requested materials provided for in camera review all but useless, frustrating and impeding the Committee’s constitutional oversight obligations,” he said.

HHS Sec. Becerra at podium

As a result, Jordan issued a subpoena for the documents, arguing that the committee has broad power to conduct oversight and that such information can be used to guide legislation on issues such as placement of UACs and treatment of criminal illegal immigrants.

It’s the latest such effort by the committee to gain more information about criminal illegal immigrants. In December, Jordan subpoenaed Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the case files of 14 illegal immigrants “charged with serious crimes, such as theft, brutal assault, murder, and terrorism-related charges.”



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