The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational programs and legal aid for unaccompanied minors staying in general migrant shelters nationwide, saying the immigration influx at the southern border has created critical budget pressures.
Education and exercise are fundamental parts of care. Cutting these services is wrong and demonstrates worsening detention conditions for immigrant children. https://t.co/g8b6rojh6p
The Office of Refugee Resettlement has begun discontinuing the funding stream for activities—including soccer—that have been deemed “not directly necessary for the protection of life and safety,” including education services, legal services, and recreation,” said U.S. Health and Human Services spokesman Mark Weber.
What I get from this report is that the Trump administration does not deem education necessary for the protection of life and safety and 45 looks at these children as less than animals in the wild.
A shelter employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity to address the internal government directive, said the Trump administration’s cuts have alarmed workers, who fear the quality of care for the children will suffer. The employee said the classes and sports activities are crucial to maintaining physical and mental health while the children are in custody.
“What are you going to do all day?” the shelter employee said. “If you’re not going to have any sort of organized recreation or physical activity, what are you going to do, just let them sit in their rooms?”
Education and recreation are all that these children have left to distract them from the bigger issue going on around them—that they are alone in a country that doesn’t want them here.
Michael Miller, a reporter from the Washington Post tweeted that many of the children who occupy these shelters, almost all mentioned that these soccer games as much needed escapes.
Of the many kids I’ve interviewed about their time in these shelters, almost all mentioned these soccer games as much-needed escapes. We can debate #immigration policy but at the end of the day, these are kids, after all. Important from @mariasacchetti https://t.co/qCHYbK4H9e
The White House had attempted to attach a $4.5 billion emergency spending request for the border — which includes $2.9 billion for HHS —but lawmakers failed to reach an agreement.