You’ve probably all seen this news about the Department of Health and Services scrambling to re-direct money from other areas of the agency budget to take care of the largest number of ‘children’ (ever!) entering the U.S. illegally.
I’m posting this so that as we move ahead in the coming days with news on the budget for FY17 and the Continuing Resolution, you have some background understanding of the dilemma the refugee program is in during the waning days of the Obama Administration. The ‘kids’ (who are NOT refugees) are gobbling up limited funds putting their needs in direct competition with the refugees entering the US from all over the world. (In addition to depriving US citizens of other needed programs.)
For new readers, the Office of Refugee Resettlement is an agency at HHS which has been given the duty of taking care of the illegal alien kids.
Here is Jessica Vaughan at the Center for Immigration Studies:
An average of 255 illegal alien youths were taken into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) every day this month, according to the latest figures the agency provided to Congress. This is the largest number of illegal alien children ever in the care of the federal government. To pay for it, the agency says it will need an additional one or two billion dollars for the next year – above and beyond the $1.2 billion spent in 2016 and proposed for 2017 – depending on how many more arrive. For now, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where ORR resides, is diverting $167 million from other programs to cover the cost of services for these new illegal arrivals through December 9, when the current continuing resolution expires.
An email to congressional staff from Barbara Clark of the HHS legislative liaison office, dated November 28, 2016, stated:
Daily referrals of unaccompanied children averaged 247 over the last seven days, and 255 so far in November. For comparison, referrals averaged 185 per day in November of FY 2016 and 64 per day in November of FY 2015. As of November 27, 2016, the number of children in ORR care is approximately 11,200.
A separate email informed congressional offices of HHS Secretary Burwell’s intent to transfer money from other programs to ORR to pay for shelters, health care, schooling, recreation, and other services for the new illegal arrivals, who typically were brought to the border by smugglers paid by their parents, who often are living in the United States illegally.
Continue reading here and see which programs are being robbed to pay for the ‘kids.’
About the map: I was searching for a graph to show how many ‘kids’ (mostly Central American teenage boys, see here) had come in to the U.S. in the most recent years, but every graph I found only went to 2014. So what is up with that! I figured the map would be a nice addition to the post instead.
By the way, this post is tagged ‘Unaccompanied minors’ because many years ago they were called that and that is how I first tagged the topic.