Source: Simon Kent
The number of migrant children now held in U.S. custody surged past 15,000 on Saturday, with some 5,000 unaccompanied minors alone being held in a tent holding facility run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other stations along the U.S.-Mexico Border.
According to a CBS News report, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed HHS is housing nearly 10,500 unaccompanied minors in emergency housing facilities and shelters licensed by states.
The detention of these minors shatters the 2,600 children held at the peak of the 2019 migrant surge.
The news outlet reported unaccompanied migrant children are spending 136 hours on average in CBP custody, passing the legal time limit of 72 hours in a trend that first started last month, as Breitbart News reported.
CBS further reported border officials have encountered over 500 unaccompanied minors per day over the past 21 days. The number of encounters are expected to top the 9,400 minors that entered custody in February.
Such is the pressure on CBP officials they are considering a plan to release migrants apprehended in South Texas who claim asylum without issuing a Notice to Appear (NTA). Breitbart Texas confirmed with a senior CBP official the plan is being discussed.
AP reports since Joe Biden’s inauguration, the U.S. has seen a dramatic spike in the number of people encountered by border officials.
There were 18,945 family members and 9,297 unaccompanied children encountered in February — an increase of 168 percent and 63 percent, respectively, from the month before, according to the Pew Research Center.
The president and other administration officials in recent days have stepped up efforts to urge migrants not to come while at the same time denying any crisis exists.
Critics have pointed to public comments from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who earlier this month advised the administration’s message to migrants was “don’t come now” and a slip by Roberta Jacobson, the White House’s lead adviser on the border, who said in Spanish during a recent briefing the “border is not closed,” before correcting herself.