HHS watchdog to examine conditions at shelters for migrant children

The Health and Human Services inspector general’s office said Wednesday it would launch an investigation into migrant shelters housing children, paying special attention to safety and health-related concerns.

A spokeswoman with the agency said that the probe will not focus on specific allegations of mistreatment. HHS also will look into the training and qualifications of federal contractors who deal with the wellbeing of the children in custody.

The agency announced it was reviewing the conditions of the shelters a day after a federal judge in California ordered that families separated at the border be reunited with their children within 30 days. Children under five were ordered to be reunited within 14 days of the order.

HHS is sheltering about 12,000 migrant children, including some 2,000 who arrived at the southwest border with a parent and were separated because of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.

Calls to pass legislation that would end family separations at the border went unanswered Wednesday after the GOP’s immigration bill was rejected overwhelmingly in a 301-121 vote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.