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$13.5 million grant to assist human-trafficking victims delayed

In this image, Trump sits at a desk with his hands folded and listens to someone out of view speak. There are two flags behind him.
Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration postponed a $13.5 million grant to house and support victims of human trafficking in September, NBC News reports.

Where it stands: A Department of Justice spokesperson told NBC that "the agency asked for the funds back from HUD and ... DOJ will now run the program itself." Noncitizens were newly listed as recipients for the grant on Sept. 4, just 5 days before the grant solicitation was delayed.

  • The 36-month program was pitched in August as a partnership between the DOJ and HUD. The grant was approved 2 years ago by various federal agencies, NBC reports.
  • The grant was "intended to support housing and supportive services for victims of sex and labor trafficking, including immediate emergency shelter and short-term housing of up to 24 months," per NBC, citing the project's notice of funding availability.

The big picture: Several federal efforts to combat human trafficking in the U.S. have slowed under the Trump administration, according to government data and human trafficking advocates, Axios' Stef Kight and Juliet Bartz report.

Background: The Trump administration has pointed at human trafficking along the southern border as a reason to build a wall, arguing that "Congress has a moral responsibility" to fund a wall to prevent human trafficking and deter illegal immigration.

Go deeper: Efforts to combat human trafficking slow under Trump