U.S. abandons plan to protect exchange students
JACKSON, Miss. – Despite dozens of allegations of neglect and sexual abuse over the years, the U.S. State Department abandoned a plan to require FBI-based fingerprint searches for people hosting foreign high school exchange students, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
The federal agency in recent years considered but dropped a plan to require FBI background checks similar to what are used by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts because it wasn’t “feasible,” according to the State Department documents.
The agency was taking a serious look at requiring the checks as far back as 2010 and identified a dozen private companies that are authorized to use the FBI’s database, according to the documents. The State Department later settled on a pilot program with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, but that ended in March 2011 because Congress didn’t reauthorize the program because of budget shortfalls.
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