The Biden administration will “relocate” $860 million in funds meant for COVID-19 relief programs to the Health and Human Services department in order to cover the cost of housing the thousands of child migrants who remain in United States custody.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra defended the switch in a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees Wednesday. Becerra claimed that “his department needed the funds to ensure the safety of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the border,” according to a report in the New York Post. “They also need to cover costs associated with staffing at shelters for these children, Becerra wrote.”
According to Bloomberg News, which broke the story, “HHS’ costs for housing unaccompanied migrant children had gone up by $1.7 billion as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to precautions the government needed to take,” thereby justifying the use of COVID-19 relief funds for what would typically be considered an immigration issue.
Becerra told Congress