HHS isn't up to handling the border surge

Currently, about 18,000 unaccompanied minors are in U.S. government custody, and nearly 6,000 of them in DHS’s border “cages.” The reason: HHS lacks the capacity to take the children off the hands of DHS. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, part of DHS, is already getting involved, helping HHS turn convention centers into temporary housing. But this highlights why maybe HHS shouldn’t be in charge of housing anyone apprehended at the border.

HHS is a social work agency and not an operations agency. The military-like nature of DHS and the operations expertise of FEMA would actually be more humane here.

The Biden administration has caused this current surge, and it should end it by reversing course and restoring Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.

Every time the U.S. creates incentives for undocumented children to come, a wave of undocumented children shows up, putting their lives in danger. These waves overwhelm HHS. Congress should consider building an infrastructure for unaccompanied minors that can expand and contract rapidly — and that probably isn’t a child welfare division in HHS.

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