The number of unaccompanied migrant children has reached a critical situation at the United States’ southern border. Due to the facilities’ saturation, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had to open 13 new detention centers for children throughout the country, where the minors will be transferred to until their sponsors receive them.
According to the latest HHS data, 16,000 unaccompanied children are in their care and another 4,000 are about to be transferred from Border Patrol custody, Breitbart reported.
The number of illegal border crossers soared in March—Biden’s second month in office, surpassing 172,000 migrants. An increase of more than 71,000 from the previous month. One of the most problematic issues in this context is the growing number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border, which more than doubled to 20,000 children.
It should be noted that the above figures only include migrants who were apprehended by border police.
It is understood that thousands manage to elude officials and are certainly not counted.
President Biden’s administration announced on Friday the opening of new facilities in Michigan and Pennsylvania to receive unaccompanied migrant children, becoming the latest facilities to open across the country to reduce border overcrowding.
The Starr Commonwealth, a private nonprofit organization, said in a statement Friday that it signed an agreement with the federal government. It will allow HHS to use its 350-acre campus, located in Albion, Michigan, to help alleviate the Southern border’s developing humanitarian crisis, The Detroit News reported.
The site will initially serve as a temporary shelter for children under the age of 12. According to the release, details about the children’s arrival are not being reported to protect their safety.
The thousands of children, who are stranded, have arrived in the country primarily driven by new immigration policies. Lone children crossing the U.S. border are welcomed and sponsored by the government.
Biden administration officials have described the legislation changes as part of an effort to develop a “more humane” immigration system. But critics, such as Stephen Miller, a top immigration adviser to former President Donald Trump, have asserted that the policies encourage parents to send their children alone to the U.S. on long and very dangerous journeys.
On the other hand, HHS estimates that the cost of detaining a child in the newer facilities, which they refer to as Emergency Intake Sites (EIS), is $775 per day. Permanent shelter sites are less expensive.
As Breitbart reports, the United States spends approximately $6 million per day to house just unaccompanied migrant children. The costs of housing 4,000 children in the care of Border Patrol who have yet to be transferred are not included.