For a moment, let’s not consider the moral cost — in American prestige — that comes with the deliberate decision by the Trump administration to separate families seeking to become U.S. citizens.
Let’s also not consider the future costs — in lawsuits and psychiatric care — that are sure to follow from Trump’s decision.
Instead, let’s focus on the business that is child separation. Its value: almost $1 billion.
The Associated Press has the details.
Health and Human Services grants for shelters, foster care and other child welfare services for detained unaccompanied and separated children soared from $74.5 million in 2007 to $958 million in 2017. The agency is also reviewing a new round of proposals amid a growing effort by the White House to keep immigrant children in government custody.
Currently, more than 11,800 children, from a few months old to 17, are housed in nearly 90 facilities in 15 states — Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
They are being held while their parents await immigration proceedings or, if the children arrived unaccompanied, are reviewed for possible asylum themselves.