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HHS spending $60 million per week to house unaccompanied minors at border

HHS spending $60 million per week to house unaccompanied minors at border
© Customs and Border Protection

The Biden administration is spending $60 million per week to take care of unaccompanied minors at the border, according to a report by The Washington Post.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) quickly filled its 7,700 available beds in its network of permanent shelters, where the cost of caring for a single migrant child runs $290 daily. 

The administration is reckoning with a record number of children arriving at the border in what has become a new crisis for the Biden White House. It is a problem that was also faced by the Obama and Trump administrations, both of which found it difficult to deal with or solve. 

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President BidenJoe BidenFauci says school should be open 'full blast' five days a week in the fall Overnight Defense: Military sexual assault reform bill has votes to pass in Senate l First active duty service member arrested over Jan. 6 riot l Israeli troops attack Gaza Strip Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart MORE has urged people to not come to the border, but many of those arriving from the countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are fleeing desperate circumstances. 

Republicans have argued that Biden's reversal of Trump policies at the border have encouraged the new wave of migrants, something the White House has rejected.

The administration has set up 10 emergency facilities and created 16,000 temporary beds for the migrant children, the post reported. Teens and children spend 31 days in HHS custody before being released to a vetted family member or an eligible sponsor in the United States, according to HHS data. 

Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman HHS’s Administration for Children and Families told The Washington Post that the cost of emergency sites are 2 1/2 times higher than permanent shelters. 

“Due to the need to develop facilities quickly and hire significant staff over a short period of time,” he said.