Official: Insufficient funds to host unaccompanied children

Official: Insufficient funds to host unaccompanied children

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A top health official has voiced concern that too little money is available to house the unexpectedly high numbers of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a letter obtained by the Associated Press, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told members of Congress' appropriations committee Friday that the agency "may face serious funding challenges in meeting the costs of accommodating the increased number of children.

"The agency hopes to avoid a repeat of the summer of 2014, when tens of thousands of children and families overcrowded Border Patrol shelters.

Agency spokesman Mark Weber says the letter doesn't ask for additional funds beyond the president's budget request.

A total of 10,588 unaccompanied children crossed the border in October and November, prompting the agency to open new shelters in Texas and California.