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Child migrant housing and detention industry now worth $1 billion

An immigrant child with his mother.
Immigration has become a billion dollar business for HHS. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Department of Health and Human Services has turned housing and detaining immigrant children into an industry that sees nearly $1 billion annually, reports the Associated Press.

The big picture: HHS grants for shelters, foster cares and child welfare services for unaccompanied and separated children rose from a $74.5 million industry in 2007 to $958 million in 2017.

By the numbers: More than 11,800 children, ranging from a few months to 17 years old, are housed in 90 facilities throughout 15 U.S. states.

  • The agency requested a total of $500 million in bids for five projects with more to come in October.
  • Over the last decade, Southwest Key and Baptist Child & Family Services has received $1.39 billion in grant funding to operate shelters.
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