In March this year, nearly 19,000 migrant children were stopped at the US-Mexico border.
In total, around 172,000 migrants were stopped at the border last month – a 71% increase compared to February. 18,890 of these were unaccompanied children.
This is thought to be the highest number of migrants seen attempting to cross the border in more than a decade.
Many people currently looking to enter the US are fleeing violence, natural disasters and poverty that has been worsened by the ongoing health crisis.
According to NPR, the main reason US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) end up turning people away is due to Title 42, a health order created by the Trump administration aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus.
Title 42 is implemented around 60% of the time, and was the reason 103,900 individuals were turned away last month under it. 28% of the 103,900 had been turned away before under the same authority.
In the wake of this information coming to light today, April 8, CBP Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy Miller said in a statement:
CBP has experienced an increase in encounters and arrests. This is not new. Encounters have continued to increase since April 2020, and our past experiences have helped us be better prepared for the challenges we face this year.
We are committed to balancing the need to maintain border security, care for those in our custody, and keep the American people and our workforce safe.
Many children have been turning up at the border without their parents; by the end of March, an average of 507 were being taken to CBP facilities per day. This was up from 276 the month before, NPR reports.
While only 11% of CBP’s encounters last month were unaccompanied kids, they make up the largest demographic group of individuals in custody at CBP facilities, today’s operational update reads.
The Biden administration has received backlash for the way it’s been handling the influx of people trying to enter the country, with some dubbing the conditions some people are having to live in ‘shocking’.
After visiting one of the sites last month, Oklahoma Senator James Lankford said, ‘It’s breathtaking to be there because every one of those old, plexiglass cells is literally packed. The entire floor is covered with kids, and then they’ll be sitting around the edge because there’s no floor space for them.’
This news of the rise of immigrant children being stopped at the border comes in spite of Biden signing an executive order in February that would see Mexican families who had been separated being reunited with one another.
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Topics: News, Biden, border, children, immigration, Mexico, Now, Trump, US Customs and Border Protection