The Biden administration has poured billions of taxpayer dollars into the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) since October 2022, according to a new report from Open the Books.
The Biden administration spent $8.925 billion in fiscal year 2022 and $10.928 billion in fiscal year 2023 on the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at ORR to accommodate, transport, and provide migrants with various other services like medical care and loans, according to the report, which was released Tuesday. In recent months, HHS has faced scrutiny for ORR’s alleged mishandling of cases of unaccompanied migrant children, some of whom have been released to poorly vetted sponsors where they are used for child labor, according to The New York Times.
Illegal immigration at the southern border has hit record highs under the Biden administration with federal authorities recording more than 2.2 million encounters of migrants crossing illegally in fiscal year 2022 and more than 2 million in fiscal year 2023, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics.
The agency has lost contact with 85,000 unaccompanied migrant children, according to the NYT. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has spent more than $5.5 billion separately in fiscal years 2022 and 2023 on unaccompanied migrant children, according to the Open the Books report.
“The Office of Refugee Resettlement is seeking to expand its mission even further in future years, and far-left members of Congress appear to be on board. This is creating an endless flow of people seeking help with anything from travel to health care to loans,” OpenTheBooks.com Founder & CEO Adam Andrzejewski said in a statement Tuesday.
By extending so many benefits we are creating an endless spiral of spending – and the pain can be felt everywhere from hospitals, to schools to shelters across the country. This financial self-harm must come to an end; ORR must return to its original mission of simply resettling true refugees,” Andrzejewski said.
HHS received 118,938 unaccompanied children from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in fiscal year 2023, 128,904 in fiscal year 2022, 122,731 in fiscal year 2021 and 15,381 in fiscal year 2020, according to agency data.
Concerns of exploitation of the migrant children released by HHS sparked a Department of Labor investigation, which the Biden administration announced in February.
“We see every day the scourge of child labor in this country, and we have a legal and a moral obligation to take every step in our power to prevent it. Too often, companies look the other way and claim that their staffing agency, or their subcontractor or supplier is responsible. Everyone has a responsibility here,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said at the time.
Overall, the Biden administration has faced scrutiny for its handling of the crisis at the southern border. The House Homeland Security Committee recently held two hearings regarding impeachment proceedings against DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and his handling of the border surge.
Jennie Taer on January 23, 2024