The situation at the US Southern border has been deteriorating with each passing day. With facilities too small and migrants too many, the makeshift camp sites have proven to be inadequate for the countless migrant kids who travelled across the border.
In a more recent development, the number of unaccompanied children is now below 1,000 for the first time in more than a month as officials are in the process of transporting migrant kids to properly maintained shelters. But even then, thousands of migrant kids move across the border without their parents.
On Wednesday, a source confirmed that only 954 migrant children were in the Customs and Border Protection – a steep 80% decrease from early April, when more than 5,000 migrant kids had been cramped in made-shift facilities. The month of April witnessed a 30% rise in the number of unaccompanied minors, but most of them have now been taken to proper shelters that work under the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Initially, the process to deal with migrant kids was quite different. When Border Patrol would get a hold of migrant kids at the border, they would be transferred to the HHS shelters immediately and then HHS would conduct a search for parents who could keep them in the long run. This process worked very well until this year, when the number of migrant kids who tried to cross the border reached an all-time high.
Moreover, when President Biden moved into the White House, he banned Trump’s practice of expelling migrant kids and the government was forced to find ways to accommodate the sudden inflow of minors into the country. The conditions grew worse each day; HHS did not have sufficient space to house all the migrant kids, leaving hundreds and thousands of children in Border Patrol Camps, which were cramped and dirty.
The recent weeks have seen a drop in the number of migrant kids as HHS has made significant efforts to accommodate more migrant kids by increasing its capacity of existing shelters and opening up temporary new ones. Now, HHS has become more proficient in transporting migrant kids to facilities and placing them with parents or other sponsors.