Last week, the Biden administration cheered a “massive drop” in the number of child migrants being held by United States Customs and Border Protection on the United States-Mexico border. On Tuesday, though, a new report indicated that while those children are no longer in border patrol custody. They remain in United States custody — and they number in the thousands.
The AP reported that “tens of thousands” of children, “from toddlers to teens” remain in U.S. custody, in a network of shelters across the country, many of which are escaping scrutiny. The shelters are, the AP noted, staffed, in some cases, by people who have escaped having to pass an FBI background check, and the children ‘aren’t guaranteed access to education, recreational opportunities, or legal counsel.”
“The Biden administration is holding tens of thousands of asylum-seeking children in an opaque network of some 200 facilities,” spanning “two dozen states.” At least five of those facilities house more than 1,000 children.
“Confidential data obtained by the AP shows the number of migrant children in government custody more than doubled in the past two months, and this week the federal government was housing around 21,000 kids, from toddlers to teens,” the AP reported. “A facility at Fort Bliss, a U.S. Army post in El Paso, Texas, had more than 4,500 children as of Monday. Attorneys, advocates, and mental health experts say that while some shelters are safe and provide adequate care, others are endangering children’s health and safety.”
Thousands of migrant children have been intercepted at the United States’ southern border in recent months, and at one point, the United States government was housing around 15,000 children in border patrol facilities, some for far longer than the 72 hours allowed by immigration courts and federal law.
The Biden administration, which refused to call the issue a “crisis,” took a number of measures to ease the burden on Customs and Border Protection, involving advocacy groups and the Department of Health and Human Services to transfer the children from CBP custody into HHS and private hands.
Last week, the Biden administration celebrated a victory, the BBC noted at the time, announcing that the number of children in CBP custody had declined by 88%.
“The number of children being specifically held in CBP facilities, which were designed for adults, dropped from a record high of 5,767 on 28 March to 677 in late April,” the BBC reported, quoting the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The administration, however, reported only generally on where those children ended up after being processed by the CBP. According to The Associated Press, thousands ended up in shelters, some of which are escaping significant scrutiny.
“Part of the government’s plan to manage thousands of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border involves about a dozen unlicensed emergency facilities inside military installations, stadiums, and convention centers that skirt state regulations and don’t require traditional legal oversight,” the outlet noted. “Inside the facilities, called Emergency Intake Sites, children aren’t guaranteed access to education, recreational opportunities, or legal counsel.
“Of particular concern to advocates are mass shelters, with hundreds of beds apiece,” the AP continued. “These facilities can leave children isolated, less supervised, and without basic services. The AP found about half of all migrant children detained in the U.S. are sleeping in shelters with more than 1,000 other children. More than 17,650 are in facilities with 100 or more children.”
The Biden administration has focused its immigration interdiction efforts on addressing “root causes.” The administration has charged Vice President Kamala Harris with inking deals with Central American countries in order to help alleviate the difficult conditions that the Biden administration says motivates individuals to join migrant caravans or pay to send their children north to the United States.
The effect on illegal immigration appears delayed. According to Customs and Border Protection numbers, approximately 6,000 illegal immigrants were detained at the southern border per day in April. Around 122,000 people were apprehended overall.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.