The Washington Times reports the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) paid over $1.4 billion last year to care for nearly 41,000 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) in its facilities. UACs stayed 41 days on average, so the care cost taxpayers about $670 per day for each child. HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan said until Congress fixes the laws inducing UACs to seek asylum, “the American taxpayer is paying the bill for costly programs that aggravate the problem and put children in dangerous situations.”
Last weekend, the media attacked the Trump Administration after an image of alien minors being held in a “cage” went viral on the Internet. As it turned out, that picture was from 2014 under President Obama’s watch.
While minors were once held temporarily in DHS jail cells meant for adults they’re now placed in dorm-style detention facilities while awaiting their release or transfer to HHS within 20 days. Under HHS care, they live in “comfy dormitories” where they can attend yoga classes and watch “their favorite soccer teams from back home on the extensive cable system…all paid for by taxpayers.”
In 2014, The Washington Times submitted Freedom of Information Act requests for documents concerning how the Obama Administration cared for UACs. Those records, finally produced in March of 2018, described conditions at facilities run Southwest Key Program Inc. and BCFS Health and Human Services.
Southwest Key described giving UACs new clothes and “multicultural crayons” while providing each access to gym equipment and field trips to movie theaters, swimming pools and bowling alleys. BCFS outlined activities that included “soccer tournaments; movie night; playing games on the Wii; bingo and board games; basketball and volleyball tournaments; and Spanish language yoga. During the summer children engage in water-based activities such as swimming, fishing, and playing in the sprinklers.”
The Administration may actually be increasing the number of UACs it must care for through it’s “zero-tolerance” policy for illegal migrants. That policy seeks to refer every new illegal alien adult for prosecution. To the extent that migrants cross illegally as a family, parents are processed into jails while their children are held by HHS. The situation will continue to fester until the Administration can get Congress to change the asylum and trafficking laws.
Read more in The Washington Times.
Updated: Thu, Jun 14th 2018 @ 5:10pm EDT