6 U.S.C. § 279 - Children's affairs

Cite as6 U.S.C. § 279

(a) Transfer of functions

There are transferred to the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement of the Department of Health and Human Services functions under the immigration laws of the United States with respect to the care of unaccompanied alien children that were vested by statute in, or performed by, the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization (or any officer, employee, or component of the Immigration and Naturalization Service) immediately before the effective date specified in subsection (d).

(b) Functions

(1) In general

Pursuant to the transfer made by subsection (a), the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement shall be responsible for-

(A) coordinating and implementing the care and placement of unaccompanied alien children who are in Federal custody by reason of their immigration status, including developing a plan to be submitted to Congress on how to ensure that qualified and independent legal counsel is timely appointed to represent the interests of each such child, consistent with the law regarding appointment of counsel that is in effect on November 25, 2002;

(B) ensuring that the interests of the child are considered in decisions and actions relating to the care and custody of an unaccompanied alien child;

(C) making placement determinations for all unaccompanied alien children who are in Federal custody by reason of their immigration status;

(D) implementing the placement determinations;

(E) implementing policies with respect to the care and placement of unaccompanied alien children;

(F) identifying a sufficient number of qualified individuals, entities, and facilities to house unaccompanied alien children;

(G) overseeing the infrastructure and personnel of facilities in which unaccompanied alien children reside;

(H) reuniting unaccompanied alien children with a parent abroad in appropriate cases;

(I) compiling, updating, and publishing at least annually a state-by-state list of professionals or other entities qualified to provide guardian and attorney representation services for unaccompanied alien children;

(J) maintaining statistical information and other data on unaccompanied alien children for whose care and placement the Director is responsible, which shall include-

(i) biographical information, such as a child's name, gender, date of birth, country of birth, and country of habitual residence;

(ii) the date on which the child came into Federal custody by reason of his or her immigration status;

(iii) information relating to the child's placement, removal, or release from each facility in which the child has resided;

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