WASHINGTON – Passage of the omnibus budget bill by the House of Representatives includes a provision providing $1.6 billion for resettlement of illegal immigrants crossing through the U.S. border through the year 2018.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services has begun a process to expand its temporary capacity to house unaccompanied children,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement earlier this month.
Government statistics from October and November of 2015 show a two fold increase of the number of unaccompanied immigrant children, 10,500, crossing the southern border from Mexico over the previous years totals for the same period according to the Washington Post.
To cope with this influx, HHS plans to open a pair of shelters totaling 1,000 beds in South Texas with an additional facility of 400 beds in Southern California.
The total sum of the provisions approved by Congress- $1,645,201,000- will be utilized to assist in this process, along with the funding of “refugee and entrant assistance activities authorized by section 414 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and section 501 of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980, and for carrying out section 462 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, section 235 of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (‘‘TVPA’’), section 203 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005, and the Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998.”
The Department of Health and Human has enlisted the Department of Defense to make an additional 5,000 beds available as needed.
The DoD also noted in a statement on the matter that “The entire administration has been closely monitoring these current trends and coordinating across the whole of government to ensure an effective response to any changes in migration flows.”