Health and Human Services grants for detained children approach $1B: report

Health and Human Services grants for detained children approach $1B: report

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) handed out nearly $1 billion in grants last year for child welfare services for detained migrant children, The Associated Press reported Friday.

The grants for the services, which include shelters and foster care for the children, have skyrocketed from $74.5 million in 2007 to $958 million in 2017, according to the AP.

More than 11,800 of the children are being housed in about 90 facilities in 15 states. The children are held as their parents wait for their immigration proceedings, or are considered for asylum if they arrived in the U.S. unaccompanied.

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HHS in May requested bids for five projects involving detained immigration children that could add up to more than $500 million. Those projects include beds, foster and therapeutic care and “secure care,” which refers to hiring security guards.

A department spokesman told the AP that HHS will award bids “based on the number of beds needed to provide appropriate care for minors in the program.”

The Trump administration's detention of immigrant children was thrown into the spotlight earlier this year as officials faced public outcry over a policy separating immigrant families at the border. President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE signed an executive order last month to end the policy.

The administration is currently working to reunite the separated immigrant children with their parents after a court ordered the government to do so. HHS said in a court filing Friday that it had identified 2,551 children who may have been separated from their families.

HHS officials said that it will not reunite all of the children with the people who accompanied them to the States.

"It is not, nor should it be, our objective to reunify all 2,551 minors with the adult whom they arrived here with, because some of those adults are not their parents or pose a clear danger to the children," the agency said in a statement.