Trump administration has spent $80M so far on family separations

The Trump administration has spent more than $80 million in the past year to house, care for and reunite thousands of migrant children separated from their parents at the southern border as a result of the “zero tolerance” policy.

The figures were revealed in a report to Congress from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week and obtained by The Hill.


The numbers are expected to grow, as 140 children have yet to be reunited with their parents and remain in HHS custody. Among them are 117 children whose parents have already been deported.

The parents of 30 of the children have been declared ineligible for reunification based on their criminal histories, HHS said.

The report was required to be submitted as part of a recently passed government funding bill and is the first time the Trump administration has officially disclosed to lawmakers how much money its “zero tolerance” policy has cost taxpayers.

According to HHS, a total of 2,667 children were separated from their parents and placed into agency custody for an average of 83 days per child.

Shelter costs for those children, including food and education, cost a total of nearly $59 million, the agency said. The rest of the cost included medical care, legal fees and program support.

HHS said 92 percent of all children who had been separated have already been reunified or discharged to sponsors — relatives or family friends who applied to sponsor them.