March sees record number of children crossing border

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (April 8, 2021) — In the latest evidence that President Joe Biden's border crisis is only getting worse, the U.S. government reported Thursday that nearly 19,000 children traveling alone across the Mexican border in March, the largest monthly number ever recorded.

The Border Patrol encountered 18,663 unaccompanied children in March, well above previous highs of 11,475 in May 2019 and 10,620 in June 2014. The agency started publishing the numbers in 2009. Before then, adults made up the vast majority of those crossing the border.

March’s count was roughly double those encountered by the Border Patrol in February and more than five times the number in March 2020.

The huge increase in children traveling alone — some as young as 3 — and families has severely strained border holding facilities, which aren’t allowed to hold people for more than three days but often do. It’s left the government scrambling to find space and hire staff to care for children longer term until they can be placed with sponsors.

Amid the growing numbers, more than 4,000 people at a CBP holding facility have been jammed into a space designed for 250 at a tent complex in Donna, Texas. They lay inches apart on mats on the floor with foil blankets.

The Biden administration is under increasing fire for doing little to end the crisis. 

On Wednesday, Texas Gov., Greg Abbott, demanded an immediate investigation into reports of sexual assaults at a Biden detention center in San Antonio. 

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