The Trump administration is withdrawing funds directed to recreational and legal services for minors in federal migrant shelters, citing budgetary concerns, according to the Washington Post.
Among the programs targeted by this redirection are English classes, sports, and legal aid, which the administration said are “not directly necessary for the protection of life and safety, including education services, legal services, and recreation,” according to U.S. Health and Human Services spokesman Mark Weber.
The reductions come after a failed attempt to pass a $4.5 billion emergency spending request in Congress. That provision, which would have been attached to the disaster bill that passed this week, would have provided the U.S. Health and Human Services with an additional $2.9 billion in funding.
The federal migrant shelter program could run out of money by June, given the “dramatic spike” in arrivals of unaccompanied minors, which means the agency is legally required to channel its funding to essentials, said Weber.
According to the Washington Post, removing the programs could be illegal, following a federal court settlement and the institution of state licensing terms that require educational and recreational services for minors in federal custody.