Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell on June 19 asking how the administration plans to handle the surge of children who have illegally entered the United States and its cost to American taxpayers. On July 10, he sent a letter to President Obama to express further concerns regarding unaccompanied alien children. Today, Congressman Sensenbrenner sent a follow-up letter to Secretary Burwell requesting a prompt response to his previous questions and to seek answers about conflicting reports in Wisconsin:

Dear Secretary Burwell:

I am writing to follow-up on my June 19 letter regarding unaccompanied alien children.  My letter asked eight specific questions about the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) plans to house and care for these children.  

I write today to not only request a response to my initial letter, but to seek answers about conflicting news reports in my home state of Wisconsin.  According to these reports, HHS, through its grantees, is currently seeking space in the Milwaukee area to house potentially hundreds of children who have illegally crossed our southern border from Central America through Mexico. To date, I am not aware of your agency relaying this information to any of Wisconsin’s elected representatives.

The federal government, and more specifically HHS, should be transparent about its intentions.  The agency should fully inform Members of Congress, along with state and local leaders, of its intentions to house these children in facilities within their communities.  Therefore, I ask you to reply with answers to the following questions.

•           Can you state conclusively that HHS, or other federal agencies, is not considering locations in Wisconsin?
•           If not, what locations are currently being considered?
•           Will Members of Congress be notified as soon as a decision has been made?

I respectfully ask that you respond to these questions, along with the questions in my June 19 letter, before you continue any efforts to relocate unaccompanied alien children, or any other illegal immigrants to Wisconsin.

A timely and complete response would be greatly appreciated.