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Trump spending millions to jail kids with no plans to reunite families

The White House is spending a lot of money to tear children from their families.

By Eric Boehlert - June 20, 2018
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Ripping families apart — which is highly unpopular with the American people and human rights advocates worldwide — could cost U.S. taxpayers tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars in the coming months.

In fact, Trump is spending nearly three times as much money separating young children from their parents as the government would by keeping families together when they cross the border into the U.S.

The exorbitant cost of the abusive practice has come to light without the government stepping forward with any organized plan to reunite these children with their families.

Trump’s inhumane “zero tolerance” edict means so many kids are being snatched by the government — nearly 3,000 to date — that temporary ‘ten cities’ have to be constructed.

The emergency “tent cities” are also far more expensive than holding children together with their families at permanent Health and Human Services (HHS) facilities, like the Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas.

Currently, Trump’s team is spending $757 per child per night to keep children separate from their families, according to an NBC report.

But, according to NBC, “Keeping children with their parents in detention centers like the one run by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement in Dilley, Texas cost $298 per resident per night, according to an agency estimate when it awarded the contract for the facility in 2014,” according to NBC. “The additional cost to operate a 400-bed temporary structure for one month at capacity would be more than $5 million.”

The reason the “tent cities” cost so much is because Trump and Attorney General Jeff Session this year almost arbitrarily demanded that children immediately be ripped from families. That meant the sudden urgency to bring in security, air conditioning, medical workers and other government contractors drove up costs way up.

None of this had been planned out in any kind of thoughtful way.

With Trump sweeping up more children, more ‘tent cities’ will have to be built. HHS says it’s currently looking to build facilities at an Air Force Base in Little Rock, Arkansas and land formerly run by the USDA in Arizona.

As for the children’s future, it appears many of them will never see their families again, if Trump has his way. Instead, they’ll be put into the U.S. foster care system.

“The agency says the children stay in HHS facilities for 57 days on average before they are sent to live with a relative or placed in foster care,” NBC reports.

In Michigan, the head of the state’s Civil Rights Commission confirms that they are being sent children ripped from their families at the border, and that for now they are heading to foster care.

It’s no wonder that Pope Francis and British Prime Minster Theresa May became the latest to condemn the Trump-sponsored abuse unfolding at the border, with America’s oldest and closest ally, the United Kingdom, calling the humanitarian crisis “deeply disturbing” and “wrong.”

 


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