The United States has decided to relax the security requirements that must be met by the people who offer to take in immigrant children who have arrived alone in the country, the government reported today.
A spokesman for the Department of Health (HHS, in English) told Efe that the Office for Refugee Re-housing (ORR) has issued a directive that modifies the requirement to analyze the fingerprints of all members of the foster home.
The source pointed out that currently there is a series of "solid processes" in force to evaluate the people who receive minors.
Although the condition of analyzing the footprints of all the members of the foster home will be eliminated, this step will still be required of the person who appears as the "owner" of said place of reception.
The spokesman added that "the ORR will continue the record studies of all adults in the homes to ensure the safety of the child."
In this regard, he recalled that the agency will continue to contrast the data of the files with the FBI.
The measure comes at a time when the number of immigrant children in US custody has exceeded 14,000 unaccompanied children, a record high.
An official of HHS explained to Efe that the requirement, now suspended, in relation to fingerprints was introduced last June, but that since then "the new checks of all household members have not provided additional information that has allowed the ORR identify new risks for minors ".
The management of minors who arrive in the country without the accompaniment of an adult rests with HHS, but this agency may assign its custody – while the situation of the child is solved – to a person who offers to welcome him or a family member in the country.
On December 11, a spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) informed Efe that 109 immigrants without a prior criminal record were arrested after volunteering to take charge of the assistance of these minors.