The increasing number of unaccounted children at the border is adding more and more stress to the system and has strained resources, which were already stressful as a result of the coronovirus epidemic.
The latest update comes as the Biden administration races to devise a solution to address the evolving situation on the US-Mexico border – which the administration is not calling a crisis – including reaching out to disadvantaged children and speeding up the process Allow them to go out of government care more quickly.
There are more than 600 children who have been in custody for more than 10 days, documents show. Federal law requires the Department of Health and Human Services to close unaccounted children within 72 hours, overseeing a shelter network designed for home minors, but amidst epidemic-related barriers, children from 72 Remains in custody for a longer period of time. Hour limit.
On average, children stay in border patrol custody in prison-like facilities for more than five days.
In that setting, children are alternately scheduled to make room for each other in busy facilities, with some children not seeing sunshine for days, and others taking a shower, often going for days without one. According to the case managers, lawyers and border patrol agents.
The bunk beds have been brought into one of the processing facilities to help accommodate the influx of children. “Some of them have a height of up to three bunk,” an agent told CNN, stating that children are sleeping on plastic planks on the floor and benches.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas led a bipartisan Senate delegation to El Paso, Texas on Friday to see what was happening on the ground. Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut tweeted about the crowded conditions.
“Just left the border processing facility. 100 kids were packed into a large open room. In one corner, I shed tears as a 13-year-old girl. One uncontrollably explained to a translator how much she She was nervous, parting with her grandmother and her parents without her, ”he said on Twitter.
After the children were taken into Border Patrol custody, they were changed to HHS. But the department has been trying to stop the flooding since, until recently due to the epidemic it was operating under limited capacity.
The department told CNN that HHS Target Lodge plans to activate Picos North’s property as a temporary care facility for another temporary immigrant child in Texas.
The department said the property would initially accommodate about 500 children, with a capacity to expand to 2,000, but did not give a date as to when the lodge would be used.
This story has been updated with additional details.
Aaron Pellish contributed to this report.