Jun 5, 2019 - Politics & Policy

HHS cuts funds for detained unaccompanied minors' education, recreation

The Office of Refugee Resettlement began canceling funding for recreational programs, English classes and "legal aid for unaccompanied minors staying in federal migrant shelters" across the U.S. last week, according to an email sent to an HHS official and obtained by the Washington Post.

Where it stands: This funding cut could "run afoul of a federal court settlement and state licensing requirements that mandate education and recreation for minors in federal custody," the Post reports.

The other side: "Federal officials have warned Congress that they are facing 'a dramatic spike' in unaccompanied minors at the southern border and have asked Congress for $2.9 billion in emergency funding to expand shelters and care," the Post reports.

  • "The program could run out of money in late June, and the agency is legally obligated to direct funding to essential services," U.S. Health and Human Services spokesman Mark Weber told the Post.

What to watch: "I think it'll be subject to legal challenges, subject to pushback ... but the animated legal strategy is to push the boundaries of what they can do," immigration lawyer and advocate R. Andrew Free tells Axios.

Go deeper ... Report: Immigrants quarantined in over 30 ICE centers for mumps

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