Number of Unaccompanied Children at the Border Increases

On Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released new data showing a 100% increase in the number of migrant children who arrived alone between the months of February and March. 

Not only has the number of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the border increased, but the overall number of people arriving has increased continuously since January.  As a result, government officials have needed to quickly find shelter for the children while processing them from the custody of CBP to the Office of Refugee Resettlement.  This agency, which is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, works to locate sponsors for the children, usually a family member.

Prior to the transition into the Biden administration, most of these children were unable to enter the United States.  Now, approximately 90% of the children arriving are able to unite with a family member or sponsor who is already in the United States.  With the high number of children arriving, however, many children have had to stay in CBP custody for increased periods of time. However, data indicates that by the end of March, officials were able to work more quickly to get children out of CBP custody.

It is expected, due to seasonal patterns of migration, that the number of people attempting to cross the border will continue to increase over the next few months.

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