Judicial Watch revealed Wednesday “basic shelter care” for 2,400 illegal alien minors through Baptist Children and Family Services over the course of four months in 2014 cost taxpayers more than $183 million. Assuming the same “rudimentary” care was given to all 65,000 unaccompanied minors for 120 days, the total cost would stretch past $5 billion in taxpayer money directed toward the minors.
While that $5 billion figure is technically impossible to prove because of the lack of disclosure from the government of how long each individual remained in HHS care, it is equally as difficult to prove otherwise.
According to the FOIA results from the August 1 request, funds were spent on overpriced and elaborate items, including expensive shower stalls and cable television. Divide $183 million between the 2,400 kids and it comes out to a monthly cost of more than $19,000 per person. Compare that to the per capita annual spending on health care for kids in the U.S. in 2010 was $2,123. Per capita annual spending on K-12 education in 2010 was $12,608. The numbers simply do not add up.
Consider what the FOIA request discovered:
- “Summary Budget by Objective Class … 1200 Emergency Surge Beds, June 12, 2014 – October 18, 2014” – $104,215,608
- “BCFS HHS proposed to operate a team of highly qualified professionals as outlined below … Incident Management Team … comprised of 30 members … for a 120 day event” – $2,648,800.
- “[H]otel accommodations 822 staff x $125 hotel rate per night divided by 2 (two staff per room, will share) plus 20 individual rooms will be added –$6,765,000”
- “Food will be provided by a local catering service at $75 per day for 3 meals and 2 snacks. The meal plan is estimated to provide 1200 UACs and 822 staff at a minimum: $75 x 2022 individuals (staff + youth) x 120 days – $18,198,000” [EDITOR’S NOTE: According to the USDA, the cost to feed a teenager per week in the U.S. is roughly $71.70 – or approximately $10 per day.]
- “Medical supply expenses include the cost of first aid kits, latex gloves, lice shampoo, pregnancy and urine tests … Total medical service and supply reimbursement is requested in the amount of $1,120,400.”
- “Recreational items will include board games, soccer balls, basket balls, jump ropes, bracelet making kits, yarn, puzzles, arts and crafts, decks of cards, and eye-hand coordination game sets. Reimbursement is requested for $180,000.”
- “Educational items will include … tempera paint, paint markers, paint brushes, easel brushes, art paper … Crayons, multicultural crayons … for $180,000.”
- “Laptop Kits … 100 Kits … 5 Laptops per kit – $500 per kit … $200,000”
- “VOIP Phone Kits … 80 kits … 10 cell phones per kit with International call capabilities and radio … $160,000”
The BCFS application for the Lackland AFB facility includes the following in addition to many of the above:
- “Summary Budget by Object Class … 1200 Emergency Surge Beds, May 18, 2014 – September 18, 2014” – $77,914,178
- “Utility expenses will include cable television (video screen/projector set up – due to the large dormitory set and configuration to ensure large group seatings can view movies, sports, etc.) and is estimated at $5,000 per a month x 4 months – $20,000.”
- “In addition, contact with family members is imperative and part of BCFS’s daily programing in which each client is affording the opportunity to call their families twice every week … 1200 UACs x 2 calls x 20 minutes – 48,000 minutes a week x .75 x 16 weeks – $576,000.”
- “Shower Stalls … Additional show heads required … 20 stalls at $1,000 a piece … $80,000.” [EDITOR’S NOTE: Shower stalls at Home Depot can be purchased for as low as $163.71.]
The government may have vastly overpaid for these basic items; therefore, the American people need accountability and answers for how the government spent the people’s money.