U.S. deals with record number of unaccompanied children as border crisis hits 20 year peak

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Stock Photo: Children at Border
Stock Photo: Children at Border

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border is at a level not seen in over twenty years.  After tens of thousands of immigrants got the message from then President-Elect Joe Biden to come to America, they began coming…and coming.

Today, DHS announced a record number of immigrants at the border.

“We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years.  We are expelling most single adults and families.  We are not expelling unaccompanied children,” Mayorkas said. “We are securing our border, executing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) public health authority to safeguard the American public and the migrants themselves, and protecting the children.  We have more work to do.”

Three days ago, the Biden administration mobilized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist with humanitarian aid at the border, but continues to deny there is a crisis at the border.

“Border Patrol Agents are working around the clock to process the flow at the border and I have great respect for their tireless efforts. To understand the situation, it is important to identify who is arriving at our southwest border and how we are following the law to manage different types of border encounters,” Mayorkas said. “We are encountering many unaccompanied children at our southwest border every day.  A child who is under the age of 18 and not accompanied by their parent or legal guardian is considered under the law to be an unaccompanied child.  We are encountering six- and seven-year-old children, for example, arriving at our border without an adult.  They are vulnerable children and we have ended the prior administration’s practice of expelling them.”

Mayorkas said the Border Patrol facilities have become crowded with children and the 72-hour timeframe for the transfer of children from the Border Patrol to HHS is not always met.  HHS has not had the capacity to intake the number of unaccompanied children they have been encountering.

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Mayorkas blamed poverty and violence in Mexico as the reason for the surge and not the campaign promises made by Biden during the 2020 election.