White House Takes $260 Million from Cancer/AIDS Research to Keep Kids in Custody

According to multiple sources, the Trump Administration will soon re-allocate an estimated $260 million of public funds from medical research (including cancer research, and HIV/AIDS research) so that the Executive Branch can continue holding thousands of undocumented immigrant children in custody.

The Trump Administration’s policy of detaining children has achieved public notoriety this year. A recent story noted that the Department of Health and Human Services was unable to find an estimated 1500 released children.

According to CNN, HHS Secretary Alex Azar wrote a letter to Washington State Senator Patty Murray (D), on September 5. In his letter, Azar informed Murray (and other governmental officials) that “his agency is reallocating up to $186 million from other pots of HHS money and up to $80 million from refugee programs that are being little used as the administration slashes the yearly number of refugees admitted to the country.”

This is not an entirely new phenomenon. Funds are regularly rerouted from one sub-unit of the government to another, especially when unforeseen circumstances obtain.

As Tal Kopan wrote, “The Department of Homeland Security similarly reprogrammed more than $200 million to cover immigrant detention this month, including $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

The additional funds are needed, it is claimed, because of the White House’s policy of detaining these children for a longer amount of time than is customary.

Additionally, Trump Administration policies have increased the difficulty of releasing said children to family members. This adds to the detention time.

According to news sources, the number of detained children in federal custody has reached record numbers–by some counts, approximately thirteen thousand.

Kopan wrote than an estimated $5.8 million will be redirected from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program. The National Cancer Institute will lose $13.3, and funds equaling $87.3 million overall will be taken from the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, an estimated $3.8 million will be drawn from other various HIV programs, which is part of a larger withdrawal of $16.7 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.