Scott Lloyd, the embattled Trump official once in charge of caring for children separated under the administration's “zero tolerance” policy, is moving to a new job within the administration. He’ll now work as a senior adviser working on outreach to faith-based partners for the Department of Health and Human Services, a spokesperson for the department confirmed Monday.
Lloyd previously headed the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which also oversees services for refugees and minor immigrants who cross into the United States without authorization and without parents or guardians. He was sidelined from running daily operations in his role there in mid-July, Politico reported in October.
During Lloyd’s tenure at the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the once-obscure agency was the center of multiple national scandals. First, in October 2017, a teenager in the agency’s custody sued the Trump administration, accusing it of refusing to let her get an abortion; a federal judge later blocked the agency from interfering with pregnant minors’ access to abortion while they remain in federal custody. Lloyd had originally wanted to personally sign off on all minors’ requests for abortions.
Then, this year, the Office of Refugee Resettlement drew scrutiny for its decision-making around children affected by the “zero tolerance” policy. Politico reported in October 2018 that Lloyd’s handling of family reunifications complicated the process, and that the the Trump administration was reviewing the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s operations.
Lloyd was also accused of violating government ethics rules. He also was at work on a book outlining his opposition to abortion, Politico reported last week, though government employees usually do not write books on topics that touch with their official duties.
“When Secretary Azar addressed us in January as our new Secretary, he encouraged us to be bold,” Lloyd said in a statement provided to VICE News on Monday. “I am joining the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives to help Director [Shannon] Royce and team continue to develop bold ideas on how communities and faith-based entities can play a central role in successfully achieving the Secretary’s priorities, which will improve the health and well-being of the American people.”
Lloyd, who had relatively little experience with refugees prior to leading the Office of Refugee Resettlement, previously worked for the Catholic charitable group the Knights of Columbus. The Daily Caller first reported Lloyd’s departure.
Cover image: Scott Lloyd, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, arrives for a House Judiciary Committee hearing concerning the oversight of the U.S. refugee admissions program, on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)