There are more than 13,000 migrant children in US custody, according to sources

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ON historical number of migrants enter the US illegally, creating an overwhelming need for more aid along the Texan border with Mexico. More than 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children are currently in US custody, sources told CBS News.

The US is well on the way to preventing more migrants from crossing the border than in the last 20 years, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Tuesday, describing the situation as “difficult”.

“We expel most of the single adults and families. We do not expel unaccompanied children,” Mayorkas said in a statement.

Unaccompanied minors are detained in Border Patrol facilities for an average of 120 hours, according to CBS News. It’s much longer than the 72 hours allowed by law. The rise leads to a lack of space to accommodate them.

“The Border Patrol facilities are full of children and the 72 hour timeframe for transferring children from the Border Patrol is following [Health and Human Services] is not always fulfilled. HHS has not been able to take in the number of unaccompanied children we encountered, “Mayorkas said.

He said the Biden administration is establishing additional facilities in Texas and Arizona to accommodate unaccompanied minors and families, and directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist HHS with the housing of the children.

President Biden told reporters Tuesday that he had no plans “at the moment” to travel to the southern border.

A migrant family will cross the border into El Paso, Texas from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on Friday, February 26, 2021.

Christian Chavez / AP


Mireya Villarreal contributed to this report.

© 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.



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