June 24, 2021
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for COVID-19 technical guidance provided to the Office of Refugee Resettlement relating to illegal aliens released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-01514)).
The lawsuit was filed after HHS failed to respond to an April 15, 2021, FOIA request seeking access to:
All technical guidance provided to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement related to the transmission, testing, mitigation, and/or treatment of COVID-19 for undocumented immigrants who are in or are released from Department of Homeland Security and/or Customs and Border Patrol custody.
The FOIA request was prompted by the April 15 congressional testimony of Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. In her testimony, Dr. Walensky said: “The CDC is providing technical assistance to the Office of Refugee Resettlement for the people who are leaving the DHS [Department of Homeland Security] and Customs and Border Protection.”
“The Biden administration secrecy on its border crisis includes stonewalling on the issue of Covid-19 and illegal immigration and controversial refugee resettlement programs,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Judicial Watch on April 30 filed a FOIA lawsuit against HHS for records about assaults on and abuse of unaccompanied alien children in its custody.