Highest levels ever of migrant children in custody

Migrant tents in Tornillo, TX

Immigrant children, many separated from their parents, are being housed in tents in Tornillo, TX, near the Mexican border.
PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Blake/Reuters via NY Times


This week, a report came out detailing the highest level in history of migrant children in federal custody. As of this month, there are 12,800 children in custody, compared to 2,400 in May of this year. This sharp increase is not due to more migrant children crossing the border. Instead, there has been a huge decrease in families coming forward to claim these children. Many undocumented relatives are now fearful and scared to sponsor these kids concerning the anit-immigrant climate.


Most of the children came to the U.S. alone and crossed the border without their parents. The majority are teenagers from Central America with few prospects in their home country.


“The number of unaccompanied alien children apprehended are a symptom of the larger issue of a broken immigration system.” ~ Evelyn Stauffer, press secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services via the NY Times


These children are currently living in 100 shelters across the country, which have typically run at 30% capacity. With the high number of children in custody today, the shelters are nearly full at 90% capacity. The government has even had to set up temporary shelters with tents to handle the high concentration of migrant children in the southwest.


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