File 3,200 migrant youngsters caught in Border Patrol custody, with practically half held previous authorized restrict
More than 3,200 migrant children were trapped in Border Patrol facilities on Monday, with nearly half being detained beyond a three-day legal limit as the Biden government struggled to respondin the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the US-Mexico border.
According to government documents from CBS News, nearly 1,400 unaccompanied minors were in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities for more than three days on Monday, even though the agency was required by law to move these children to the U.S.-run refugee agency within 72 hours Hours after she was arrested.
Almost 170 unaccompanied children in border custody are under 13 years of age, according to CBP documents.
On February 21, according to a document, CBP held only nine unaccompanied children after the three-day limit had expired. This underscores how dwindling bed space in the refugee agency’s accommodations has resulted in a massive backlog of minors waiting in facilities that were largely designed for short-term adult men.
According to a document from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) overseeing the refugee, the Refugee Resettlement Office only had about 500 beds near the southern border on Monday for the increasing number of migrant children being held in U.S. custody became agency.
A former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official said the current number of children in border detention was the highest in the agency’s history.
Border patrol stations, which migrants have referred to as “dog kennels” and “ice boxes”, have cinder block cells that are supposed to temporarily house adult migrants. CBP also detains unaccompanied children in a large “soft-sided” facility in South Texas that has more space and shelter than Border Patrol stations. although it is also designed for short-term storage.
The refugee office is currently hosting more than 8,100 unaccompanied children to expand its bed capacity, which was restricted during the pandemic to implement social distancing.
Documents received from CBS News illustrate the escalating humanitarian, logistical, and political challenges President Biden faced early on in his presidency on the US-Mexico border. Republicans have blamed Mr Biden’s immigration policies and rhetoric for the significant increase in unaccompanied children entering US border detention.
The Biden administration has continued the Trump-era policy of using public health law to rapidly evict most immigrant adults and families from the southern border. However, she has protected unaccompanied children from displacement.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and a team of senior administrators toured migrant reception facilities along the southern border last week as unaccompanied child crossings increased. The officers will brief Mr Biden this week.
More than 7,000 unaccompanied migrant children werein US refugee shelters last month – a record high for February, CBS News reported over the weekend. According to internal records, the refugee office should take in 440 minors with a migrant background in one day alone this week.
Under US law, the refugee agency must place unaccompanied children with verified godparents while they undergo deportation proceedings. In the US, children can apply for asylum or other forms of humanitarian protection, such as visas for minors who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by their parents.
In a statement to CBS News, the Office of Refugee Resettlement said it was “working aggressively” to release migrant children in its care to sponsors, who are usually family members living in the United States
The agency also found that it has reopened the Trump-era inflow holding facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas and started reactivating beds that were taken offline during the pandemic to “overpopulate” unaccompanied children in border patrol stations to alleviate.
While the refugee office has more than 13,000 beds for migrant children, it reduced its capacity to around 8,000 beds last year in response to social distancing measures.
Citing “exceptional circumstances,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday allowed emergency shelters commissioned by the refugee agency to return to pre-pandemic beds if they took stepped up measures to mitigate the coronavirus.
DHS and White House officials did not respond to requests to comment on documents received from CBS News.