The number of migrant children and teens arriving alone at the United States' border with Mexico fell last month compared to a month earlier, according to newly released Customs and Border Protection Data.
There was a slight increase in border crossings, encounters and detentions in general over the same period, a sign that the record surge in migrants trying to enter the country this spring could stabilize.
But the problem is far from over for the Biden administration, which is currently trying to place more than 16,000 migrant children safely in custody with relatives living in the United States. The administration on Monday threatened to sue the state of Texas as Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, pushes through his threat to close more than 50 shelters in the state where thousands of migrant children have lived.
Mr Abbott's action, which was part of a disaster order issued late last month, was seen by many as a deliberate swipe at the Biden administration's more compassionate stance on immigration compared to the restrictive measures taken by the Trump administration.
It is typical for the number of migrants traveling through the southern border to the United States to increase during the spring months, but this year the turnout was much higher, with a nearly 50 percent increase in border crossings, encounters and detentions in March, April and May. compared to a similar increase in the same period in 2019.
Republicans have seized on the surge along the southern border, calling it a crisis — a term the Biden administration has avoided.
Most of the adult migrants who arrived at the southern border this year have been barred from entering the country due to a public health rule introduced during the Trump administration, which is responsible for more than 463,000 evictions on the southern border between January and May this year.
While the latest government also excludes children for public health reasons, the Biden government has allowed migrant children to enter the country and stay in shelters overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services until they can live with a relative or other sponsor. be placed. More than 65,000 migrant children and teenagers have arrived at the southern border alone since the start of the year, with record numbers arriving during the spring months. In May, nearly 2,900 fewer migrant children arrived at the southern border alone compared to a month earlier.
Due to a shortage of shelter space in the network of federally recognized facilities earlier this year, migrant children were forced to stay in overcrowded cells along the southern border, well beyond the legal limit. Earlier this year, the Biden administration moved to set up about a dozen emergency shelters where the children can remain in the custody of Health and Human Services until they are placed with a relative or sponsor in the United States.
Recently, migrant children and teenagers are staying in H.H.S. according to government statistics, an average of 37 days in custody. Child advocates have said that ideally a child should not have to stay in a government shelter for more than 20 days.