More than 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children in US custody: report

Source: The Hill | March 17, 2021 | John Bowden

More than 13,000 undocumented minors who traveled to the U.S. without a parent or guardian are currently being held in federal custody, CBS News reported Wednesday.

Many children are being kept in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody longer than the legally allowed 72 hours, according to the report, while thousands are kept in cramped conditions with poor access to hygiene and other amenities.

The Hill has reached out to the Departments of Homeland Security as well as the Department Health and Human Services (HHS) for comment.

“The Border Patrol facilities have become crowded with children and the 72-hour timeframe for the transfer of children from the Border Patrol to HHS is not always met. HHS has not had the capacity to intake the number of unaccompanied children we have been encountering,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a lengthy statement Tuesday.

“We have ended the prior administration’s practice of expelling them,” he added, referring to undocumented children arriving without a parent at ages as low as six or seven.

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