Biden’s administration has recently made another questionable move with funding. This time, Bien has decided to divert approximately $860M in COVID relief funds to addressing a massive surge in unaccompanied, illegal migrant children instead.
The Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra, recently informed Congress about this decision in a detailed letter. Becerra also added that the funds would be taken from the National Institutes of Health in order to pay for various COVID-related costs that accompany the solo children. In addition, Becerra also claimed that the program costs for HHS have increased due to the pandemic, which is why $860M in funds need to be dedicated to building shelters and increasing the total number of state-licensed beds.
Protocols related to the pandemic apparently increased the total cost of illegal migrant youth by approximately $1.7B, per an anonymous Biden administration official. However, the same official also claims that diverting $860M in funds will neither impede nor disrupt any NIH activities.
The letter sent by Becerra apprised both Sen. Blunt (R-MO) and Sen. Murray (D-WA), as well as Rep. DeLauro (D-CT) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK). In addition, Becerra also announced that the COVID Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 purportedly gives him the authority to divert the funds as he sees fit.
Since early 2021, the Biden administration has faced increasing bipartisan backlash regarding how it has handled the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. For instance, record numbers of illegal migrants crossing the border have emerged shortly after Biden took office on January 20. Furthermore, the situation shows no signs of diminishing, considering that 180,000 migrants tried to cross the border illegally in May.