Trump’s Child Detention Camps Cost $775 Per Person Every Day

Trump’s Child Detention Camps Cost $775 Per Person Every Day

The Trump administration has been holding migrant children—whether they came to the U.S. alone or were forcibly separated from their guardians—in a network of makeshift tent camps since last summer. An unnamed official at the Department of Health and Human Services told NBC News that housing costs $775 per child per day.

That’s even more than a $675 deluxe guest room at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. (The average U.S. hotel room costs $129.)

Maintenance reportedly eats up most of the $775 daily cost per child for the tent camps, since it’s difficult to keep temporary structures suitable for humans in a desert. In permanent facilities run by Health and Human Services, the cost is $256 per person per night, and NBC News estimates that even keeping children with their parents and guardians in Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities would only cost $298 per night.

Even at the permanent facilities, there are questionable circumstances beyond costs, like the detention sites without soap and blankets. Clinical-law professor Warren Binford interviewed child detainees at a facility in Clint, Texas, telling Isaac Chotiner at The New Yorker, “There was food on the shirts, and the pants as well. They told us that they were hungry. They told us that some of them had not showered or had not showered until the day or two days before we arrived. Many of them described that they only brushed their teeth once…one of the reasons why we came back for a fourth day is that some of the children, on Wednesday, told us that there was a lice infestation, as well as an influenza outbreak, at that facility, and so a number of the children are being taken into isolation rooms, quarantine areas where there’s nobody with them except for other sick children.”

Like the prison industry for the U.S. criminal justice system, private companies can make a lot of money in the immigrant-detention business. Private-prison firm Geo Group has reportedly already made $500 million from migrant detention centers since Trump’s “zero tolerance policy” began, as reported by the Miami New Times. Southwest Key Programs, a nonprofit that set up a boys’ shelter in the husk of an old Wal-Mart, reportedly netted $955 million in federal contracts between 2015 and 2018, according to the New York Times. A network of nonprofit groups, BCFS, reportedly received $179 million in the same time period. BCFS is the same contractor that held migrant kids in parked vans for 39 hours earlier this year, as ICE slowly did the paperwork to reunite the children with their families.

As the Texas Tribune reports, since the filthy conditions at child detention centers went public, people in Texas have been collecting donations of diapers, soap, and toothbrushes. So far, Customs and Border Protection has refused to accept the donations.


Source : Luke Darby Link

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