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Detaining immigrant kids is now a billion-dollar industry

July 12, 2018 GMT

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — An Associated Press analysis has found that detaining immigrant children has morphed into a surging industry in the U.S. that now reaps $1 billion annually.

That’s a tenfold increase over the past decade.

Health and Human Services grants for detaining unaccompanied and separated children soared from $74.5 million in 2007 to $958 million dollars in 2017.

Currently, more than 11,800 children, from a few months old to 17, are housed in nearly 90 facilities in 15 states. They are being held while their parents await immigration proceedings or are reviewed for possible asylum themselves.