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the definition of luxury
June 20, 2018

The U.S. government is forcing migrant children away from their parents and into tent cities — but it could save a few bucks by booking five-star hotels instead.

Holding children in newly built tents costs $775 per person per night, an official from the Department of Health and Human Services told NBC News. That's far more than the $256 nightly charge in a permanent HHS facility, or $298 per night in a detention center like where the children's parents are staying. Even a luxury hotel — like, say, the Trump International in New York City — costs only about $519 nightly.

Moreover, it costs $5 million more per month to place 400 migrant children in a tent instead of in a permanent building, per NBC News, and kids usually stay for about two months. The price tag stems from a sudden influx of separated children and a rush to build, secure, and air condition the tents, former HHS officials told NBC. Still, HHS is "aggressively looking" for places to put more tent cities, the current official said.

Overall, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spends $2 billion each year on private detention centers, per the Migration Policy Institute. Kathryn Krawczyk

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