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The Border Patrol arrested in the last three weeks about 340 minors daily who crossed the border from Mexico alone, which has led to an average stay of more than the 72 hours allowed by U.S. law in the agency’s custody, local media revealed on Wednesday.
According to documents from the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, there is evidence of a “growing trend” of unaccompanied children arriving in the country and remaining in the care of the authorities.
This situation exceeds the capacity of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), in charge of the care of small migrants, and causes the minors to be in Border Patrol facilities for an average of 77 hours.
The version details that in the city of Yuma, in the border state of Arizona, CBP data shows that more than 600 people of all ages were housed in a space designed for 104.
The situation is repeated in the Rio Grande Valley, in Texas, where more than 2,000 people remained in a site with a capacity to hold 715.
CBP statistics indicate that last January authorities intercepted 78,323 undocumented border crossers, of which 5,871 were unaccompanied minors.
That number is 6% higher than last December’s total, when 73,923 immigrants were apprehended after irregular border crossings.
The increase in illegal border crossers may be due to the Biden administration’s discourse on immigration issues, which leaves the door open for this practice to occur.