13 Apr Biden Government is Spending $62 Million/Week on Migrant Children
According to government data, US President Joe Biden is reportedly spending $62 million every week for migrant children under the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Over the last few months, children were being kept at government-run detention facilities. However, these jail-like centers were not at all fit for children, especially during the pandemic.
The department is responsible for looking over a network of shelters for migrant children. But due to the spike in cases, HHS had to reduce the capacity of minor immigrants. Since last month, HHS has opened 11 new facilities and more are on their way.
Unlike the Border Patrol Stations, HHS is relying on military sites, convention centers and influx spaces, which are spacious and can follow social distancing protocols.
According to the figures, the daily cost of one child is $775/day, which is more than twice of the shelter program. The reason behind these expenses is that these temporary shelters need to be developed to attain minors.
Moreover, in addition to the 13,721 beds in the department’s permanent shelter program, the department is providing 16,000 more beds to accommodate children. According to HHS, as of Thursday, around 8876 beds have already been occupied in permanent shelters, while 8,124 beds have been occupied in temporary sites.
After being asked about the rising costs to accommodate unaccompanied minors, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the prior administration received nearly $3 billion for the immigrant program.
The department also stated that it is challenging to predict the final cost because of the ever-changing levels of referrals.
According to Mark Greenberg, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute and former HHS official said, “The basic problem right now is that more children are arriving than are being released to parents and sponsors each day. There will keep being a need for more capacity unless either the number of arriving children goes down or HHS is able to release children more quickly.”
Biden administration is trying to relocate these children with sponsors, children or distant relatives in the US as soon as possible. But until the guardian is verified, the children will stay under government custody.