Empty Child Migrant Detention Center Is Costing U.S. Taxpayers $720,000 Per Day
American taxpayers have been shelling out $720,000 per day for an empty migrant detention center since August 3, according to congressional testimony offered by the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Jonathan Hayes said Homestead, where migrant children are housed, is now an empty facility and has been for weeks, CBS News reported. But he told Wisconsin Democratic Representative Mark Pocan on Wednesday the center remains staffed, costing the government $600 per bed each day — meaning Americans have paid more than $33 million since the last migrant child left.
"So $600 a day for 1,200 invisible, imaginary, nonexistent human beings at Homestead right now?" Pocan asked.
"It's the beds, but yes sir," Hayes replied.
The ORR director said his agency prefers to keep the facility staffed in the event there is a sudden influx of unaccompanied migrant children, saying “you're looking at a minimum of 90 to 120 days in order to reactivate the staff back” if the center is shut down.
"And again, given the extreme uncertainty of referrals coming across our nation's southern border, and how many kids we might have to care for, that wasn't a switch that was turned off at this point,” Hayes said.
Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) also mention that former Trump administration official John Kelly is also tied to this facility that is raking in money with no children in its beds:
"What troubles me deeply about Homestead is that this is a private contract with Caliburn International, where Secretary John Kelly sits on the board. And they wrote in their SEC filings as they announced plans to go public 'border enforcement and immigration policy is driving significant growth for our company.' Significant growth at what cost to the human experience?"