Trump administration discontinues English classes, recreational programs for unaccompanied minors in shelters – Washington Examiner

The Trump administration is ending English classes, recreational activities, and legal aid for unaccompanied minors in federal migrant shelters because of a lack of funding, amid an increase in border crossings.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement is no longer providing funding for the programs because they are considered “not directly necessary for the protection of life and safety, including education services, legal services, and recreation,” said U.S. Health and Human Services spokesman Mark Weber.

The decision was detailed in an email a Heath and Human Services official sent to migrant shelters last week, the Washington Post reported. However, federal court settlement and state licensing requirements mandate that minors in federal custody receive education and recreation.

The email said the government would not fund the programs retroactive to May 22.

More than 40,000 unaccompanied minors have been under the care of Health and Human Services after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border this year. The number is a 57% increase from the previous year.

While held at the shelters, the children attend school and participate in recreational activities, such as soccer and other sports.

“What are you going to do all day?” a shelter employee told the Post. “If you’re not going to have any sort of organized recreation or physical activity, what are you going to do, just let them sit in their rooms?”

President Trump declared a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border in February, as many are fleeing poverty and violence in their home countries.

The White House has asked for $4.5 billion to address the crisis.

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