The Department of Health and Human Services is cutting funding from a variety of programs, including the National Cancer Institute, to pay for housing for detained immigrant children, Yahoo News is reporting.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar, in a letter to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., detailed his plan to reallocate as much as $266 million in funding for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The money will go to the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program in the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) according to Yahoo News.
The website said more than $13 million will come from the cancer institute and $5.7 million from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program. About $80 million will come from other programs within ORR.The remainder of the money will come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other programs.
Yahoo News, citing data from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, said there were 13,312 immigrant children in custody putting ORR's facilities at 92 percent capacity.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee said the reallocation of funds leaves questions unanswered, Van Hollen questioned “the reasons for need for additional money and how much of it is because you have more UACs coming across the border and how much is due to the Trump administration’s family separation policy?”
But HHS Deputy Secretary Erick Hargan told BuzzFeed News: "The reallocation this year was necessary because of "increases in caseloads and unexpected surges in children needing care from our program."
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