HHS paying for child detainment by diverting millions from cancer research, other programs

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From Yahoo News:

The Department of Health and Human Services is diverting millions of dollars in funding from a number of programs, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, to pay for housing for the growing population of detained immigrant children.

In a letter sent to Sen. Patty Murray, D.-Wash., and obtained by Yahoo News, HHS Secretary Alex Azar outlined his plan to reallocate up to $266 million in funding for the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, to the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program in the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

And where is the money coming from exactly? Well, that’s a good question. 

Nearly $80 million is set to be drawn from refugee support programs, but the rest will come from programs such as Head Start, the National Cancer Institute, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, and programs focused on women’s shelters, substance abuse, and maternal health — which is appropriate, because our infant mortality rate is still way lower than Afghanistan’s.

According to data from the Office of Refugee Resettlement obtained by Yahoo News, there were 13,312 immigrant children in federal custody as of Wednesday, Sept. 19, with ORR’s existing facilities at 92 percent capacity.

New York Times reported that the number of detained immigrant children in the U.S. has soared to record highs over the last year, from 2,400 children in May of 2017 to 12,800 earlier this month.

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