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Migrant children in record numbers seen in southern US


Shutterstock | Joseph Sorrentino

John Burger - published on 08/07/21 - updated on 08/07/21

Number of unaccompanied youth in Border Patrol facilities has been steadily rising, Reuters reports.

Record numbers of unaccompanied children crossed into the United States through its southern border in July, and more and more of them are being held in U.S. custody, Reuters reported. 

“The number of migrant children in Border Patrol facilities has been steadily rising, an analysis of U.S. government data shows,” the wire service said Friday. “On Aug. 1 there were more than 2,200 unaccompanied children in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, more than double the number just a month earlier, according to daily statistics provided by the government since March and compiled by Reuters.”

The news agency quoted a CBP spokesperson saying that the 2,200 “includes Mexican children who are quickly returned to their home country, as well as Central American children who are transferred to U.S. federal shelters.”

“The recent rise is alarming migrant advocates, who say the facilities are not appropriate for young children, even though levels are still below those seen in mid-March when CBP held more than 5,700 unaccompanied kids at border stations,” Reuters said.

Catholic News Service reported that the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services is investigating allegations of abuse at one Texas camp for unaccompanied migrant minors, the Fort Bliss facility near El Paso, Texas.

The government watchdog agency, following up on a whistleblower complaint, said in the months since the Fort Bliss facility opened, “several individuals have raised concerns about the quality of case management provided there, and its negative impact on children’s safety and well-being.”

“Some of the complaints allege … lack of clothing, including underwear, provided to minors, outbreaks of lice, inadequate facilities or staff trained to care for minors, as well as confusion leading to anxiety among the population, who is said to receive little information about when they could be released,” CNS reported.

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