The Biden Administration faces increasing criticism for holding unaccompanied migrant children in Border Patrol custody–some longer than the legal 72-hour limit.
Axios reported from a leaked Customs and Border Protection document that the Biden Administration held more than 700 Unaccompanied Alien Children in Border Patrol custody as of Sunday. At least 200 of those children were held by Border Patrol for more than 48 hours — nine were held more than the legal 72-hour limit.
On Tuesday night, Breitbart Texas reported that by Monday, the number had grown to 800 minors in Border Patrol custody with more than 200 held beyond the statutory 72-hour limit, according to National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki blamed the issue on multiple causes. She blamed last week’s winter storm in Texas and tried to say the Biden Administration’s holding of children without parents at the border was different than what happened during the Trump administration.
According to Axios:
“We have a couple of options: We can send them back home … We can quickly transfer them from CPB to these HHS-run facilities … We can put them with families and sponsors without any vetting,” Psaki said. “We’ve chosen the middle option.”
This means the Biden Administration is choosing to hold children by themselves in Border Patrol facilities that are not designed to hold children and families and where social distancing cannot be maintained, Judd explained on Tuesday.
“She (Psaki) went to great lengths to explain that due to the pandemic and social distancing, [the Office of Refugee Resettlement] only has capacity for a certain number of children,” Judd said.
“What she didn’t explain is that the children that ORR doesn’t have that capacity to take are left in facilities far worse than those of HHS,” Judd continued. “In fact, they are being held in the same locations they accused the Trump administration of inhuman acts when they said he was holding ‘kids in cages.’”
Axios reported that more than 400 unaccompanied minors were referred to Health and Human Services shelters on Tuesday.
“That’s an eye-catching number, especially compared to the 30-day referral average at the peak of the 2019 crisis — which was 294,” Axios wrote. Some experts point out the Biden Administration’s reversal of applying the Title 42 coronavirus protection protocols to children as a “part of the reason for the recent increase in unaccompanied children arriving at the border.”
The number of Unaccompanied Alien Children illegally crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S. is increasing from month to month, according to reports from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. In January 2021, Border Patrol agents apprehended 5,871 unaccompanied minors. This is up from 4,995 in December 2020 and 3,076 in January 2020.
Breitbart Texas reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol for confirmation of the numbers of migrants being held in custody by Border Patrol and how long they are being held. A response has not yet been received.