The Biden administration signaled its intention to shift nearly $860 million in unused COVID-19 relief funds to be used to staff migrant children’s facilities, as was revealed in a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees Wednesday, The Daily Wire reported.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said “his department needed the funds to ensure the safety of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the border,” the New York Post noted. “They also need to cover costs associated with staffing at shelters for these children.”
Becerra also told a news outlet that HHS costs had risen $1.7 billion for unaccompanied minors at the border due to precautions over COVID-19 concerns.
The number of available beds was drastically reduced, Becerra said, because of requirements to test and quarantine children when they arrive at a facility.
Biden’s policies to blame
The HHS secretary failed to mention that if President Joe Biden had not effectively opened the southern U.S. border by reversing former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies that were keeping illegal immigration numbers in check, the increased funding would likely not be necessary.
Becerra said he had met with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before reallocating the COVID-19 relief funds.
The funds were originally allocated to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but the reallocation would not impact any of the agency’s planned expenditures or activities, Becerra told lawmakers.
As Politico reported, this is the second time since March that funds were reallocated from COVID-19 relief coffers to provide funding for the care of migrant children.
The Biden administration claims that there was a massive drop in migrant children in U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) facilities in May, but in reality, most of them were transferred to HHS facilities, such as the huge tent complex located in Fort Bliss, Texas.
According to CBS News, roughly two weeks ago, 14,000 migrant children were in U.S. custody, with many of them requiring constant supervision to prevent them from harming themselves or trying to escape due to the emotional toll of being separated from their parents.
Pencils, pens, scissors, nail clippers, and regular toothbrushes have been banned inside the facilities because of the rampant attempts at self-harm, CBS News noted.
Perhaps Trump’s approach to the issue, which included making parents and children stay in Mexico, is better than Biden’s policies given that migrants parents and children were able to stay together.