Immigration Racism

The Huge Cost of Trump’s Cruel Separation Policy

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Last week, I casually estimated that the federal government may end up spending as much as a billion dollars on Trump's family separation policy and that was apparently more accurate than I knew at the time.

According to NBC News citing government sources, the Trump regime is spending about $775 per child each day at Trump's concentration camps.

WASHINGTON — The cost of holding migrant children who have been separated from their parents in newly created "tent cities" is $775 per person per night, according to an official at the Department of Health and Human Services — far higher than the cost of keeping children with their parents in detention centers or holding them in more permanent buildings.

The reason for the high cost, the official and several former officials told NBC News, is that the sudden urgency to bring in security, air conditioning, medical workers and other government contractors far surpasses the cost for structures that are routinely staffed.

For comparison's sake, Republicans in Congress have spent the last couple months preoccupied with cutting a food stamp program that only distributes about $100 per month to needy families. We don't even spend $775 per day on children who attend public schools. We don't spend that much on Medicaid coverage which costs an average of $10,000 per person per year or about $28 per day.

Bloomberg reports that just one single contractor is expected to pocket over $450 million for housing children at their permanent facilities while the total cost of Trump's policy is expect to meet or surpass $1 billion if the number of children separated from their parents continues to climb.

The nonprofit, Southwest Key Programs Inc., is to be paid more than $458 million in fiscal 2018, according to the data -- the most among the organizations, government agencies and companies that run a detention and care system for immigrant children on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services. Southwest Key has about a dozen facilities in Texas, including a site at a former WalMart Inc. store in Brownsville that has drawn attention from members of Congress and national news organizations. [...]

The government already expects to spend $943 million in 2018 in grants to detain and care for the children, according to [Administration for Children and Families] data -- a figure that may increase as the Trump administration apprehends more families crossing the border.

The financial cost of Trump's policy is far less of a concern than the moral and emotional cost, but it should put the GOP's philosophy into sharper perspective.

Anti-immigrant hardliners have spent decades claiming immigrants cost Americans money by fraudulently claiming benefits from welfare programs they shouldn't qualify for. That's not true but, even if it were true, the Trump regime is going to spend far more money to imprison immigrants and their children than anyone could ever receive in phony benefits.

The GOP's financial arguments were never genuine and it was just a cover for their naked racism toward brown people, just like it is for black people.