House Judiciary Committee asks former ORR director to clarify testimony on pregnant minors
March 22, 2019
In The News
The House Judiciary Committee has asked Scott Lloyd, the former director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, to provide clarity on his testimony last month regarding the tracking of pregnant minors in ORR care.
"At that hearing, our Members expressed concern about your conduct as head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). They asked you specifically and repeatedly about reports that you had compiled spreadsheets to track the pregnancies and menstrual cycles of young women in your care," writes Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, in a letter addressed to Lloyddated Friday.
The letter continued, "We were troubled by your responses at the time — but we now have reason to believe that your responses are inconsistent with documentation that has been made public since your testimony. We ask that you make yourself available to the Committee to clarify your testimony as soon as possible, but no later than April 12, 2019."
New concerns stem from a spreadsheet obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request by American Bridge, a progressive organization, that shows the tracking of pregnant minors in care.
The 28-page document includes the age of the minor, how far along they are in their pregnancies, whether it was reported as a sexual assault, and whether or not the minor asked for an abortion.
A Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson told CNN, "We have received the letter and will respond."
During the hearing, Lloyd made reference to a list in an exchange with Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean, who questioned Lloyd on his record, specifically whether he kept menstrual records of young women in custody. Lloyd denied that he kept such records, but said pregnant women were tracked.
"It is a yes or no. Did you track—did you create any kind of tracking mechanism?" Dean asked.
"I don't have a yes or no answer to that question. The best I guess as to what you are referring to is list that included pregnant women, and it would have mentioned their last menstrual period, which is a way of tracking the amount of time they've been pregnant," Lloyd responded.
Indeed, Lloyd received notifications about young pregnant women in ORR care, according to emails obtained in an ACLU lawsuit. Similar to the spreadsheet provided in the American Bridge FOIA request, notifications, according to the emails, included the age of the minor, the shelter they were staying in, and weeks of gestation.
The House Judiciary Committee cites the exchange with Dean, as well as a question on whether Lloyd tried to intervene in young women's pregnancies.
The letter goes on to cite a deposition given on December 18, 2017 in which Lloyd "admitted" to having visited "at least one pregnant unaccompanied minor while she was in ORR custody."
"Given these inconsistencies, I have asked my staff to work with yours to give you an opportunity to clarify these and other matters on a voluntary basis. Failing that, we would expect to pursue a date and time for a formal deposition," Nadler concluded.