Housing zero kids at detention facility cost $33 million


National News

September 19, 2019 - 10:32 AM

The Homestead, Fla., detention center no longer houses children but costs continue. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS)

MIAMI — The government has spent more than $33 million in 46 days to keep the Homestead detention center up and running even though no children are housed there, according to federal officials.

On Wednesday, Jonathan Hayes, the acting director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement — the agency in charge of housing unaccompanied migrant children — testified at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, along with other Department of Homeland Security leaders, about mental health services for migrant children.

In an exchange with U.S. Rep Mark Pocan, D-Wis., Hayes clarified that Homestead — which officially closed down Aug. 3 — is costing taxpayers $720,000 a day. That’s $600 a day for each of 1,200 empty beds. When kids are present at the facility, the cost is $750 a day per child.

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