Over 4,000 unaccompanied migrant kids under US Border Patrol custody

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 15, 2021, 01:36 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Children are currently arriving at the border in unprecedented numbers, which is causing them to be stationed in jail-like border facilities for long periods of time

Over 4,000 unaccompanied migrant children are currently being by Border Patrol. The number has gone up recently owing to the lack of availability in shelters, CNN reported.

Children are currently arriving at the border in unprecedented numbers, which is causing them to be stationed in jail-like border facilities for long periods of time.

By Sunday, over 4,200 children without any adult supervision were under Border Patrol custody. After being taken into custody of Border Patrol, children are turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services. 

The department is usually entrusted with the duty to care for migrant children. But all modus operandi has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the department being strained to accommodate children at shelters, while ensuring strict coronavirus prevention measures.

Also read: US orders emergency agency to help with child migrant surge

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the weekend asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist in taking care and stationing the children.

In a statement, Mayorkas said the following -  "I am grateful for the exceptional talent and responsiveness of the FEMA team… I am incredibly proud of the agents of the Border Patrol, who have been working around the clock in difficult circumstances to take care of children temporarily in our care. Yet, as I have said many times, a Border Patrol facility is no place for a child”.

Also read: UN seeks access to migrants injured in Yemen blaze

Currently, US President Joe Biden is attempting to reverse anti-migrant policies put in place by Donald Trump.  Now, the situation is unprecedented. The last time there was a migrant crisis at the border in 2019,  2,600 unaccompanied children were at Border Patrol camps, lesser than the current figure of over 4,000.

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