© 2021 WLRN
MIAMI | SOUTH FLORIDA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

Having Zero Kids At Homestead Has Cost $33 Million So Far — That Number Will Rise

us-news-immigration-facility-fla-mi__1_.jpeg
AL DIAZ
/
MIAMI HERALD
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services evacuated the Homestead migrant shelter after it announced it would no longer be sending children there. A tropical wave in the Atlantic Ocean was what ultimately triggered the final move of the children.

The government has spent more than $33 million in 46 days to keep the Homestead detention center up and running even though no children are housed there, according to federal officials.

On Wednesday, Jonathan Hayes, the acting director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement — the agency in charge of housing unaccompanied migrant children — testified at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, along with other Department of Homeland Security leaders, about mental health services for migrant children.

In an exchange with U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin, Hayes clarified that Homestead — which officially closed down Aug. 3 — is costing taxpayers $720,000 a day. That’s $600 a day for each of 1,200 empty beds. When kids are present at the facility, the cost is $750 a day per child.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.