Thousands of migrants including minors have been entering the United States from Mexico, with many now worrying that lawmakers and officials are misleading about the total number of minors having been held by the Customs and Border Patrol. So much so, that many believe that officials are not sharing adequate information about the number of minors detained, border policies and immigration flows.
While several are not sure about the total number of minors that have made their way to the United States in recent weeks, many are still debating if the Biden administration has detained more minors in just a couple of months that being held during the Trump era. However, recent data shows almost seven times as many unaccompanied minors have been detained either by Customs and Border Patrol or Health and Human Services compared to the Trump administration.
According to a Washington Post report published in March, citing data, "more than 8,500 migrant teens and children who crossed the border without their parents are being housed in Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)" and "nearly 3,500 more are stuck at Border Patrol stations waiting for beds in those shelters to open up."
Reviewing internal data, the outlet found out that these numbers are the "the highest figure ever" in contrast to the numbers detained during the entire Trump era. Interestingly, the highest number of unaccompanied minors being detained during the Trump administration was roughly 2,600, a lot lower than the total achieved in just over two months.
The Post report further describes the grim conditions in which they are being detained. "Held in grim steel-and-concrete cells built for adults, these young people are spending an average of 107 hours awaiting transfer to an HHS-run shelter, well over the 72-hour legal limit, the data shows. The largest number of unaccompanied minors held this way during the Trump administration was about 2,600 in June 2019, according to congressional testimony and two former Customs and Border Protection officials who were involved in handling that crisis," the report mentions.
Numbers Increasing Everyday
The numbers are at least five times higher than as many unaccompanied minors being held illegally under Biden compared to Trump. However, the Post report is just a bit old and a more recent March 31 report from ABC News shows that there are at least 17,641 unaccompanied migrant minors who have been illegally detained and are in government care. This reflects an increase of almost 50 percent in just three weeks.
"As of a Tuesday report, there are 17,641 unaccompanied migrant minors in government care — 5,606 children are in CBP custody and 12,035 in the care of the Department of Human and Health Services, CBP told ABC News," the report reads.
The data gives a clear picture of the number of minor detainees under the Biden administration, which is nearly seven times higher than as many during the rump regime. At the same time, it also dismisses Biden's claims that the recent surge in migrants is part of a seasonal migration pattern.
The blame game between Republicans and Democrats isn't going to stop anytime soon but what is more worrying is the spike in numbers although many other questions on border policies, housing conditions amid coronavirus and immigration flows remain unanswered.