Government employees asked to take paid leave to help with migrant surge at the border: report

As an unprecedented number of migrants continue to cross the southern border into the U.S., the government is reportedly offering employees paid leave in exchange for volunteering at migrant facilities.

The New York Times reported that agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and NASA, are urging their employees to take a temporary leave of absence in order to help out at the southern border.

Employees reportedly received an email last week stating: “Will you consider taking a four-month paid leave from your job to help care for migrant children in government-run shelters packed with new arrivals at the border?”

Ken Klippenstein, a reporter for The Intercept, obtained a copy of an email NASA sent to their employees. According to the email, Health and Human Services (HHS) requested candidates to serve up to a 120-day “voluntary deployment” to provide care for unaccompanied migrant children, including finding placements for children in foster care.

The email noted that this temporary position is a “reimbursable detail” that provides travel, lodging and per diem.

The Times reported that 2,722 government employees volunteered as of Friday, with most of their salaries being picked up by the Health Department.

Nearly 19,000 unaccompanied migrant children entered the U.S. border custody in March — an all time high.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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