Immigration officials bought dirt bikes and boats instead of food and medicine for detainees, report says

Nation/World
Migrants are seen in an undated photo washing their clothes at the Matamoros refugee camp, where hundreds of asylum seekers are waiting for U.S. court hearings under the “Remain in Mexico” program. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Migrants are seen in an undated photo washing their clothes at the Matamoros refugee camp, where hundreds of asylum seekers are waiting for U.S. court hearings under the “Remain in Mexico” program. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection broke the law by misusing money meant for medical care and food for those in immigration detention, a government watchdog says. Instead, the agency spent the funds on dirt bikes, dog food and leashes, boats and other unrelated items, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday.

The discovery was made during an audit of Customs and Border Protection treatment of adults and children in immigration custody last year during a significant increase in the number of migrant families and children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Many were detained in crowded Customs and Border Protection facilities, resulting in a humanitarian crisis. Several children died in federal custody, most falling ill in the temporary holding areas.

In response, Congress advanced the agency $4.6 billion, a large proportion of it intended for the care of children and families on the southern border.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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