The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is reportedly spending at least $60 million per week to house unaccompanied migrant children who have crossed the southern border.
President Joe Biden’s administration expects those costs to rise even more in the coming months, according to a report from The Washington Post. Government data revealed the cost for each migrant child to be housed in existing shelters to be $290 per day.
Those existing shelters, which have enough beds to hold around 7,700 children, have been overrun in recent weeks due to the migrant crisis at the border. At least ten emergency facilities have been set up to add an additional 16,000 beds, according to The Post.
Capacity limits have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, about 8,500 children are reportedly already living in these emergency shelters, with 4,000 more soon to be transferred from overcrowded permanent shelters. (RELATED: CBP Repeatedly Fails To Provide Transportation For Migrants Leaving Them And Agents Exposed For Hours)
Biden’s HHS has struck deals with several entities to set up new temporary shelters, including the city of San Diego and the Pentagon. The costs at these new facilities are higher than the permanent shelters, adding up to roughly $775 per day per child, HHS Administration for Children and Families spokesman Kenneth Wolfe told The Post.
Unaccompanied minors are currently spending an average of 31 days in HHS custody before being released to a family member or qualified sponsor, which would total a cost of around $24,000 in the temporary facilities. Government projections indicate somewhere between 22,000 and 26,000 children will arrive each month and need housing until September, according to The Post.
Analysts said given the current trends, CBP is on track for 1.2 million encounters with illegal border crossers, which would be far above anything the country’s seen since the Bush years. #TWTFrontPagehttps://t.co/M9rrh6pZlc
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) April 9, 2021
The total of $60 million per week does not include large tent sites like the one in Donna, Texas, which reportedly costs roughly $16 million per month. (REPORT: Biden Admin Considers Building More Border Wall Where ‘Gaps’ Exist: Report)
A record number of unaccompanied migrants have crossed the border during Biden’s brief tenure in the Oval Office. The administration has chalked it up to a seasonal increase in border crossings that occurs every year, but this year’s increase has been far more significant than any in recent history. March was the busiest month at the southern border in decades.