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Garamendi Urges Office of Refugee Resettlement to Prevent Separation of Refugee Foster Children from Families

June 3, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC—Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) sent a letter to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) objecting to the termination of the Long-Term Foster Program at Baptist Church Family Services (BCFS) in Fairfield, CA that would disrupt the lives of the facility’s foster children as they seek asylum in the United States. The termination of the contract would force the foster children in BCFS’s care to relocate and establish relationships with new families and attorneys, which would significantly prolong their cases.

 “The Long-Term Foster Program pairs these children with experienced foster families that provide care to children seeking asylum, an emotionally taxing process that can take over six months” Garamendi said in his letter. “Through the program, children have been able to acclimate to the community, attend schools, and begin their asylum proceedings. Ending the program would have detrimental impacts on these children by displacing them once again, which would require the children to reestablish relationships with attorneys and prolong their asylum cases.”

“It is our understanding that the BCFS facility in Fairfield will be terminating its contract and eliminating the Long-Term Foster Program due to their refusal to obtain proper guardianship over the children. We believe it is irresponsible to subject these children to additional disruption because of poor decision making by BCFS. Therefore, we strongly urge ORR to take appropriate actions that would allow these children to remain with their current foster families for the duration of their asylum proceedings. We must put the wellbeing and security of these children first,” Garamendi concluded in his letter.

You can view Rep. Garamendi’s full letter to ORR here.