The Biden administration’s efforts to house a growing, record number of illegal unaccompanied minors is costing the U.S. $60 million per week, the Washington Post reports.
As it currently stands, President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services is caring for more than 16,000 illegal minors who are divvied up between emergency and permanent shelters around the U.S. Each of the detained children and teenagers in permanent facilities cost the administration approximately $300 per day to house, clothe, feed, and educate. The 8,500 kids in pop-up emergency shelters, and the 4,000 waiting to be transferred in, are costing the U.S. approximately $775 per day.
“The cost of these emergency sites is more than 2½ times higher than the more-permanent shelters ‘due to the need to develop facilities quickly and hire significant staff over a short period of time,'” Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for HHS’s Administration for Children and Families told the Washington Post.
Since the border crisis began after Biden assumed office, the administration commissioned at least 10 emergency shelters, some “converted oil worker camps and on military bases,” to accommodate the thousands of children crossing the border by themselves. Cities in border states such as Texas have turned convention centers into makeshift shelters for HHS and nonprofit organizations contracted by the government to use while others are forced to stay in tents, costing an extra $16 million per month.
Many of these young kids and teens in these facilities stay for an average of a month bringing the total bill for their care to approximately $24,000 each, some of which was funded by millions of dollars of provisions in Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID spending bill.
While it is clear that costs for housing and other migrant services will continue to rise as the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border also skyrocket between 22,000 to 26,000 illegal children per month, staffing is also becoming an issue for the Biden administration. The government is now asking federal employees to work 12-hour shifts in shelters that may require people to “walk long distances along steep, rugged terrain and respond quickly to life-threatening situations.”
This report follows news that U.S. Customs and Border Protection took more than 172,000 illegal aliens into custody in March, making it the busiest month for the agency in more than 20 years and a number that is expected to grow in coming months.