Campaign for Accountability Asks HHS Inspector General to Investigate Refugee Resettlement Director’s Unlawful and Abusive Conduct of Unaccompanied, Pregnant Immigrant Minors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 20, 2017

Contact: Daniel Stevens, dstevens@campaignforaccountability.org, 202.780.5750

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, government watchdog group Campaign for Accountability (CfA) asked the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to investigate whether Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Director Scott Lloyd broke federal law by abusing his position and government resources to prevent unaccompanied pregnant immigrant minors from having legal abortions and to coerce some into continuing their pregnancies against their will.

Read the complaint here.

CfA Legal Counsel Katie O’Connor said, “It is reprehensible that Scott Lloyd has been abusing his government position to jet around the country bullying scared young girls – some of whom have been the victims of rape and incest – into continuing pregnancies against their will.  The Inspector General should immediately investigate his conduct.”

Having joined the Trump administration from a position as an attorney with the Catholic organization, Knights of Columbus, Mr. Lloyd appears to have engaged in a pattern of violating the rights of unaccompanied, pregnant immigrant minors to further his personal political agenda.  Shortly after becoming the Director of ORR in March, Mr. Lloyd began zealously enforcing a new policy to make it as difficult as possible for these girls, many of whom do not speak English, and some of whom he has prevented from consulting with legal counsel, to obtain abortions.

Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing a case in which Mr. Lloyd is appealing a lower court’s order restraining him from continuing to prevent a girl in a Texas shelter from having an abortion despite the fact that she has procured funding, travel, and a judicial bypass for the procedure.

In other cases, Mr. Lloyd personally contacted girls in shelters around the country and forced them to receive what passes for “counseling” at so-called “crisis pregnancy centers,” which offer biased, misleading, and inaccurate information about abortion, and frequently proselytize in an attempt to dissuade women and girls from having abortions.

Mr. Lloyd also has directed shelter staff to notify the parents and immigration sponsors of girls about their pregnancies despite requests that the information be kept confidential.  In at least one case, he even appears to have done so knowing that it might jeopardize the girl’s chance to live with her adult brother in the United States.

Mr. Lloyd’s actions appear to have violated the U.S. Constitution, the Anti-Deficiency Act, state contempt law, and the terms of a settlement agreement that lays out the rights of unaccompanied immigrant minors.

Ms. O’Connor continued, “Just because Mr. Lloyd doesn’t like the law doesn’t mean he can ignore it.  It is outrageous that a high-level government official is abusing his power to inflict his personal religious beliefs on vulnerable, powerless girls.  Whatever the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision, the Inspector General must act to stop Mr. Lloyd from continuing to engage in likely illegal, and decidedly abusive conduct.”

Campaign for Accountability is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, nonpartisan watchdog organization that uses research, litigation and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.