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While the Biden administration continues to struggle to handle an influx of new arrivals at the border, the Department of Health and Human Services moved more than $2 billion meant for other health initiatives to care for unaccompanied migrant children. Three people with knowledge of the situation told Politico the redirected funds included $850 million Congress originally set aside to build the U.S.’s Strategic National Stockpile and another $850 million meant to help expand COVID-19 testing. The $2.13 billion of redirected money is more than what the government has spent on its unaccompanied children program in the last two years. Politico
In other federal immigration news…
Biden Dismantles Trump-era Immigrant Health Insurance Requirement
President Joe Biden on Friday terminated a Trump-era proclamation that denied entry to immigrants who couldn’t prove they had health insurance or could cover healthcare costs. The former proclamation “does not advance the interests of the United States,” Biden said. Former President Donald Trump issued the proclamation in October 2019. A federal judge blocked the requirement before its effective date after a month. But in December 2020, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals maintained the proclamation because it said it was within Trump’s executive power to institute the rule. Reuters
DACA Recipients Sat Down With Biden
Biden met last week with six Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients who expressed the need for permanent protection of all undocumented immigrants. Maria Praeli, a DACA recipient, said in a statement after the meeting that she was “enormously grateful” that Biden listened to stories of how their families have “struggled with the broken immigration system.” The recipients described to Biden how “painful” it is to have an immigration status “in limbo.” Praeli added that the meeting “made even clearer the incredibly high stakes of permanently protecting immigrants from deportation.” The White House said Biden “reiterated his support for the Dreamers” and other “essential” immigrant workers and spoke about the need for an extensive immigration reform. HuffPost