White House refused to cover counseling costs for separated families: Report

White House refused to cover counseling costs for separated families: Report


The White House blocked a Justice Department deal in 2019 to cover the costs of mental health services for thousands of immigrant children who were separated by federal agents from their parents at the United States-Mexico border, according to a report.

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller advised the Office of White House Counsel against settling a federal lawsuit over government-funded counseling and other services, NBC reported Thursday. Miller was behind the 2018 Zero Tolerance policy, which mandated adults who illegally cross the border be referred for prosecution, prompting Border Patrol to separate children from parents.

“Ultimately, it was Stephen who prevailed. He squashed it,” one official told NBC.

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“DOJ strongly, and unanimously, supported the settlement, but not all agencies involved were on the same page,” said another senior administration official. “Ultimately, the settlement was declined at the direction of the White House counsel’s office.”

In April 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of

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