During the past few weeks, the main story dominating the news has been the plight of nearly 12,000 immigrant minors held by federal officials in as many as 90 facilities across 15 different states. These children, who range anywhere from a few months old on up to 17, are being held separately from their parents who are awaiting immigration hearings.
If you've wondered how the United States government can afford to house and feed these detainees, it's because doing so has easily become $1 billion industry. Funding for immigration detention facilities increased 10 times during the last decade. In 2007, Health and Human Services (HHS) issued $74.5 million in grants to companies looking to operate these types of facilities. In 2017, they spent $958 million.