Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Trump administration cutting schooling, activities for migrant children in shelters
The Trump administration told migrant shelters this week to wind down services — such as legal aid, English classes and recreational activity — that are not directly related to children's safety.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said it began instructing grantees this week to begin scaling back or discontinuing awards for activities "that are not directly necessary for the protection of life and safety, including education services, legal services, and recreation."
Federal officials said the administration's refugee office is running out of the necessary funds to deal with a massive influx of unaccompanied minors at the southern border.
"Additional resources are urgently required to meet the humanitarian needs created by this influx — to both sustain critical child welfare and release operations and increase capacity," HHS said.
HHS said ending those services are necessary under the Antideficiency Act, which requires the department to prioritize safety when faced with a funding shortfall.
The department is seeking an emergency appropriation of $2.88 billion to fund its refugee operations. HHS said the program is on pace to run out of funding in the coming weeks, and will need supplemental funding. HHS is legally obligated to direct funding to essential services.
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