The United States has spent $13 billion sponsoring unaccompanied minors at the border since 2012, a new report based on Health and Human Services data reveals.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded more than 150,000 unaccompanied minor encounters at the southwest border in 2022 alone, a record high. The U.S. spent $2.1 billion sponsoring unaccompanied minors last year. The figure averages approximately $18,000 per minor encounter at the border, according to analysis by OpenTheBooks.com.
“The chaos on America’s southern border has had unintended consequence – a human catastrophe hurting tens of thousands of unaccompanied, defenseless children,” wrote OpenTheBooks.com founder Adam Andrzejewski. “Despite generous taxpayer funding, the federal infrastructure to provide for these children and ensure their safety is woefully incompetent.”
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) defines unaccompanied minors as those who have “no lawful immigration status in the United States,” are “under 18 years of age,” and have “no parent or legal guardian in the United States or no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody.”