More Than 4,000 Migrant Children Detained Under CBP Custody In Jail-Like Cells

A sign for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility is seen in Clint, Texas, on June 26, 2019. (PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

More than 4,000 unaccompanied migrant children are being kept in overcrowded facilities run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), according to multiple reports.

CNN, CBS News, and ABC News report that as of Sunday, approximately 4,200 kids are currently detained in cells designed to hold migrant men.

CBS News notes that almost 3,000 of those children are being kept in the stations past the legal limit of 72 hours.

Ordinarily, unaccompanied migrant kids are supposed to be taken under the custody of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department. However, the Biden administration has stated that the recent surge of arrivals at the southern border and health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic have overwhelmed the housing system.

Acknowledging that a CBP facility “is no place for a child,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced on Saturday that he had deployed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the border to assist with processing the minors.

The dire situation recalls a separate crisis under the Trump administration: the family separation policy, under which migrant families would be separated and kept in squalid conditions at CBP facilities. The Trump administration policy was implemented as part of the former president’s effort to vilify and punish immigrants traveling to the U.S.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: