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Politico: Allocating $ 2 billion to take care of the children of immigrants on the US border

The American newspaper "Politico" said that the US Department of Health and Human Services has transferred more than 2 billion dollars earmarked for other health initiatives to cover the cost of caring for unaccompanied migrant children, as the administration of US President Joe Biden is struggling with a record influx of immigrants on the southern border.

The redirected funds include $ 850 million originally allocated by Congress to rebuild the country's strategic national reserve, the emergency medical reserve damaged by the coronavirus response, and another $ 850 million was taken from a container designated to help expand coronavirus tests, according to three people on Knowledgeable about the subject matter.

The newspaper considered that the amendment, which the Ministry of Health presented to Congress in notices during the past two months, reflects the extraordinary financial losses caused by the accommodation of more than 20,000 unaccompanied children so far this year, as the Ministry rushed to open emergency housing and add service personnel across the country. .

Politico said the move could also open the door for the administration to further scrutiny of the border strategy that has been stalking US President Joe Biden for months, as administration officials struggle to stem the influx of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children into the United States.

She explained that the $ 2.13 billion in funds transferred exceeds the government's annual budget for the Unaccompanied Children Program in each of the past two fiscal years. It is also well above the nearly half a billion dollars that the Trump administration diverted in 2018 toward accommodating migrant children inflated as a result of strict immigration policies, including separating children from adults at the border.

In addition to diverting funds from the strategic national stockpile and conducting coronavirus tests, the ministry has also withdrawn nearly $ 436 million from a raft of existing health initiatives.

Ministry of Health spokesman Mark Webber told Politico that the ministry has worked closely with the Office of Management and Budget to find ways to preserve funding for its operations related to caring for unaccompanied children in the face of rising costs.