Months after disbursing more than $65 million for extra shelters to accommodate the never-ending influx of illegal immigrant minors, the Biden administration is quietly allocating hundreds of millions more for additional facilities. The money is flowing through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a well-funded branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) charged with providing care to illegal aliens under the age of 18, classified by the government as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC). HHS funds and oversees around 170 state-licensed care facilities to house the young migrants when they arrive from foreign countries south of the border and it simply is not enough.
As of the end of October there are approximately 10,680 UAC in ORR care, according to the latest government figures. It marks a sharp increase from 4,020 in February. American taxpayers provide the young migrants with an array of services including classroom education, mental and medical health care, legal counsel, and a variety of recreational activities. Uncle Sam also spends millions to furnish many of the illegal aliens with services after they are released from U.S. custody, especially those considered to be “at risk” or display “special needs.” Most UAC in U.S. custody are not children but rather young adults or adolescents. In fact, 72% are 15 to 17 years old and 68% are boys. The majority are from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
Around six months ago the Biden administration gave $65,366,800 to seven groups throughout the country that will supply more housing for UAC. “ORR has been identifying additional permanent capacity to provide shelter for recent increases in apprehensions of Unaccompanied Children (UC) at the Southwest Border,” according to the grant announcement published in the Federal Register. “The addition of permanent capacity is a prudent step to ensure that ORR is able to meet its responsibility, by law, to provide shelter and appropriate services for UC referred to its care by the Department of Homeland Security.” The biggest chunk of money—$27,767,725—went to the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), a faith-based nonprofit that works to embrace and empower all migrants and refugees. The second largest allocation—$14,135,642—filled the coffers of a business (Baptiste Group) that was stripped of its license in Tennessee after three employees were charged with sexual battery at one of its government-funded facilities in Chattanooga. The rest was divided between Bethany Christian Service ($7,018,576), Child Crisis ($5,780,118), Catholic Guardian Services ($5,183,433) and Center for Family Services ($1,665,980). An additional $3.8 million flowed to a LIRS branch called Safe Release Expansion that gives illegal immigrant minors services after they are released.
Less than a week ago, the administration posted another grant announcement that discloses the government will spend an additional $200 million to create more housing for the deluge of UAC that appears to have no end in sight. The document reveals that the “estimated total program funding” is an astounding $840 million. HHS writes that the new allotment is for “residential (shelter and/or transitional foster care) services” for UAC. “ORR is publishing this Standing Notice of Funding Opportunity (SNOFO) to seek shelter care providers, including group homes and transitional foster care,” according to the agency. Eligibility is unrestricted to receive a grant and even nonprofits that do not have official 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and for-profit organizations as well as small businesses are encouraged to apply for a piece of the pie. Public housing authorities, private institutions of higher education and “others” are also eligible, the latest announcement says.
As if it weren’t bad enough that American taxpayers are getting stuck with the exorbitant tab of caring for the young illegal aliens, many have joined criminal enterprises after getting settled into the country. Back in 2014 Judicial Watch reported that the nation’s most violent street gangs—including Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13)—actively recruit new members at U.S. shelters housing UAC. The Texas Department of Public Safety subsequently revealed the MS-13 is a top tier gang thanks to the influx of illegal alien gang members that have crossed into the state. A few years ago, Judicial Watch obtained HHS documents that show UAC processed during the Obama administration included violent criminals. Obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the files include 1,000 “Significant Incident Reports” showing that UAC were admitted murderers, rapists, prostitutes, drug smugglers, and human traffickers.