Costs for housing one immigrant child for 21 days to rival raising one U.S. child for entire year

ELLIS COUNTY — Research reveals that the U.S. Federal Government is spending, in 21 days, slightly less on caring for each illegal immigrant child than it takes a family to raise a child for an entire year in the U.S.

U.S. Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) has stated that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is paying Baptist Children and Family Services (BCFS) $500 per child per day to care for unaccompanied illegal immigrant children between the ages of 12 and 17 for 21 days at Lakeview Camp in Maypearl.

At $500 per day, $10,500 is being given to BCFS per child for the 21 day stay at Lakeview Camp. This amounts to $5,250,000 for 500 children over the 21 days. The amount being paid to Lakeview Camp has not been disclosed.

According to documents obtained and published by Judicial Watch in December 2014, this $500 amount stated by Barton is less than the $673 per child per day that HHS paid BCFS to house illegal immigrant children at Fort Sill for 129 days in 2014. BCFS was paid $104,215,608 to care for the 1,200 children from June 12, 2014 to October 18, 2014. This amounted to $86,846.34 per illegal immigrant child for the 129 day period.

Judicial Watch also revealed that BCFS was paid $77,914,178 to care for 1,200 illegal immigrant children at Lackland AFB from May 18, 2014 to September 18, 2014. This amounted to $64,928 per child for 124 days thus the equivalent of $524 per child per day.

What HHS is giving BCFS to care for illegal immigrant children for 21 days in Ellis County amounts to just a couple thousand dollars less than what it takes a family to raise their child for an entire year.

According to an August 2014 Huffington Post article, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that it would cost approximately $245,340 for a middle class family to raise a child from birth in 2013 to the age of 18 in the U.S.

"That equates to roughly $12,800 - $14,970 per child per year for a two-parent family with a median annual income between $61,530 and $106,540," Emily Thomas reported.

Furthermore, that equates to $35 to $41 per day it takes a family to raise a child in the U.S.

The same U.S. Department of Agriculture 2014 report used by the Huffington Post states it costs an average of $14,420 to raise a child between the ages of 12 through 14 and $14,970 to raise a child between the ages of 15 through 17 for an entire year, or about $41 per day.

Deportation is cheaper than caring for illegal immigrant children for even just 21 days.

According to an August 2015 Washington Examiner article, a former top Obama administration official said it costs about $10,070 to deport one illegal immigrant. The article also stated U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement stated in 2013 that it costs about $8,660 to deport one illegal immigrant.

However, according to Federal law, unaccompanied illegal immigrant children coming from noncontiguous countries are provided unique care and cannot be immediately deported. The illegal immigrant children being housed in Ellis County are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in Central America.

The law, William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, was signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 23, 2008. The House passed H.R. 7311 in the 110th Congress without objection so no record of individual votes were made and the Senate passed the bill without amendments by Unanimous Consent so no record of individual votes were made.

The bill amended the law to require Homeland Security and other agencies to turn the children over to HHS for care and processing. The passage of the law provided funding for the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 from 2008 through 2011.

"A small portion of the bill concerned added protections for unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border. Specifically, kids from noncontiguous countries would be transferred to the Health and Human Services Department for care and processing. HHS would then be authorized to appoint advocates for the children and could work to unite the kids with families or place them in foster care," Brian Resnick wrote in a July 2014 National Journal article.

Resnick further stated, "The law didn’t foresee the influx of 90,000 of those children. And a system that was designed to be intentionally slower is now causing a bottleneck."

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 was funded again in 2013 for fiscal years 2014 through 2017 with an amendment to S.47 - Violence Against Women Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate 78-22 with 21 Republicans joining all 57 Democrats voting in favor. Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz voted against the bill. The bill passed the House 286-138 with 87 Republicans joining all 199 Democrats voting in favor. Barton voted against the bill. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on March 7, 2013.

Sources:

Congress.gov - House Bill 7311 (110th Congress)

Congress.gov - Senate Bill 47 (113th Congress)

This Is How Much It Costs To Raise A Child In The U.S.
Emily Thomas / Huffington Post, Aug. 18, 2014

Documents Reveal Obama HHS Paid Baptist Children and Family Services $182,129,786 for Four Months Housing of Illegal Alien Children
by Judicial Watch, Dec. 3, 2014

Why We Don't Immediately Send the Border Kids Back
by Brian Resnick / National Journal, Jul. 8, 2014

Expenditures on Children by Families, 2013
by U.S. Department of Agriculture, Aug. 2014

What's the cost of deporting all illegal immigrants? It depends
by Nicole Duran / Washington Examiner, Aug. 18, 2015