The Office of Refugee Resettlement is preparing for the possibility of another surge in family separations. Internal documents obtained by Slate show that ORR has modeled a scenario in which the Trump administration’s border policies could require the detention of thousands more immigrant children. To help cover these potential costs, the documents say, HHS will seek supplemental appropriations from Congress.
The documents also indicate that HHS plans to pay for child separation by reallocating money from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which, according to its website, “provides a comprehensive system of care that includes primary medical care and essential support services for people living with HIV who are uninsured or underinsured.” Per the documents, the process of transferring those HIV/AIDS funds has already begun.
In addition, HHS plans to reallocate $79 million from programs for refugee resettlement, a move that could imperil social services, medical assistance, and English language instructions for refugees in the U.S., as well as programs for torture survivors.
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RELATED: The Ryan White CARE Act was introduced in 1990 by Sen. Ted Kennedy weeks after the death of its namesake Indiana teen, who had been infected with HIV via a blood transfusion to treat his hemophilia. The bill was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.