WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. June 21, 2018:
GOVERNOR CUOMO ISSUES LETTER TO SECRETARY OF HEALTH
WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting information on the immigrant children being housed in New York to ensure that appropriate services are being provided.
The full text of the letter is available below:
Alex M. Azar II
Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
Dear Secretary Azar:
I am writing with deep concern regarding immigrant children that are being housed in New York State. I contacted your office earlier this morning with an urgent request to speak with you to offer immediate services to support children who have been separated from their parents and are being housed in New York State. I have not received a response from you.
The New York Constitution places an affirmative obligation on the State to provide for the health and welfare of everyone within our borders and ensure that the due process rights of all inhabitants are protected. Accordingly, as Governor of New York, I am requesting that you provide information on the number of children that have been sent to New York, where these children are being housed, and whether any children have been discharged from federal custody to the state foster care system or to family members in the community. New York State certifies residential facilities and we have an obligation to ensure that appropriate services are being provided. The information that I am requesting is essential to the proper discharge of our responsibilities to those who are within our borders.
The New York State Department of Health has raised significant concerns about the deeply traumatic effects and life-altering consequences of separating children from their parents. The experience of multiple stressful and unpredictable events during childhood is cumulative and can have negative impacts on health and well-being throughout the child’s life and into the next generation. When the developing brain is chronically stressed, it leads to poor health outcomes and negative health behaviors throughout the life span.
The President’s plan to setup detention centers for children and their parents pursuant to his Executive Order violates the terms Flores Settlement and will likely never come to fruition. As a result, the State’s concern is further heightened that services need to be provided immediately to these children.
Earlier this week I announced that New York intends to file a multi-agency lawsuit against the administration, and we are moving forward with this lawsuit to protect the children and ensure our country remains true to its values. But we cannot wait to provide and verify that the separated children with the care they need. To date, we know of at least 345 children who have been separated from their parents, and according to news reports more children continue to arrive in our state.
These children are in urgent need of health and mental health services that the State is uniquely positioned to provide. It is imperative that you provide the State with information requested without delay. The health and safety of these children are at stake.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
President Donald Trump