The Absurd Cost of Detaining Immigrant Children

The Absurd Cost of Detaining Immigrant Children June 26, 2019

A Department of Health and Human Services official confirms that it costs $775 a night to house immigrant children in the hastily constructed tent cities they’ve put up. The cost is so high, they say, because they had to put them up so quickly and hire people to handle the security and such — mostly private companies, of course, who are making a killing on this.

The cost of holding migrant children who have been separated from their parents in newly created “tent cities” is $775 per person per night, according to an official at the Department of Health and Human Services — far higher than the cost of keeping children with their parents in detention centers or holding them in more permanent buildings.

The reason for the high cost, the official and several former officials told NBC News, is that the sudden urgency to bring in security, air conditioning, medical workers and other government contractors far surpasses the cost for structures that are routinely staffed.

It costs $256 per person per night to hold children in permanent HHS facilities like Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas. And keeping children with their parents in detention centers like the one run by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement in Dilley, Texas cost $298 per resident per night, according to an agency estimate when it awarded the contract for the facility in 2014.

I did a search online and a night at the Trump International hotel in Washington, DC is $495 a night during the week. And I think that’s a hell of an idea. Forget tent cities and detention center, put them up in all of the Trump hotels around the country. Trump would reverse that family separation policy in about 3 seconds.

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