Trump Administration’s Policy to Home Unaccompanied Children on Track

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A temporary facility opened by Trump administration to house unaccompanied migrant children could cost up to $300 million. However, the plan and preparation looks well on course. The facility is expected to remain open until January 2020.

Located in Texas, Carrizo Springs facility became operation on 30 June, and currently homes 225 children. The numbers as they rise are expected to reach 1,300, making it one of the largest facility for unaccompanied minors, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said.

Earlier used as a lodging facility for oil field workers, the shelter is one of the two temporary protections available. The other facility is located in Florida, and holds as many as 2,300 children, with numbers dynamically changing.

The Texas facility is run by the non-profit organization BCFS, and will be funded as much as $50 million for its first 60 days of operation. Supplemental funding of up to $250 million, subject to its operation through Jan 31, 2020, will also be paid by the same department.

Besides, this is not for the first time that BCFS has provided shelter, earlier at the time of Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which separated children from their parents, the agency ran Tornillo “tent city” in 2018.

Federal officials have deemed the move as extremely helpful, and called that it would help lessen the pressure on detention facilities run by the Department of Homeland security near the US-Mexico border. This includes Clint, a facility that has received huge criticism.

As per the Lawyers who have visited the Clint shelter, children living in sordid conditions are held long past the legal deadline of 72 hours. The move has, thus, triggered protests, besides congressional inquiries.

Unaccompanied children who cross the border are transferred to HHs facilities from DHS detention centers. As of June 10, DHS referred over 52,000 unaccompanied children to the HHS, the numbers mark a 60 per cent rise from the last year.

The rise in the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border vows to become a major headache for the US. However, still managing the rush of children crossing the border, the agency said that each child is housed on an average of 45 days.

Facilities such as, health care, mental health care and “general child welfare services”, are also available all throughout the day to deal with any epidemic.

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