According to new reports, a startling number of unaccompanied illegal children have entered the US since October, with the unprecedented 61,000 minors topping records.
With 2 months left in the fiscal year, the numbers will grow even higher as the migration crisis at the US-Mexico border continues to grow.
A DHS official said the swell of undocumented minors “has risen to levels we have never before seen,” further highlight the drastic need to address the ever-worsening crisis.
Additionally, a CBP official revealed that the Border Patrol has spent “over $230 million in humanitarian support” for detained migrants, including food, toiletries, and medical care.
A record 61,000 unaccompanied migrant children have surged over the U.S.-Mexico border and been handed to federal care facilities since October, and there are still over two months left in the fiscal year, according to immigration officials.
The number tops the total for fiscal year 2016, at 59,170 turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Jonathan H. Hayes, the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement at DHS, said that the agency on one day held a high of 13,700, and it is down to 11,000. “The number of UAC entering the United States during this fiscal year has risen to levels we have never before seen,” he said.
The shocking numbers are the latest evidence of the border crisis that the Trump administration is working to solve.
Officials testified before the House Judiciary Committee Thursday and called for congressional action and legal changes to the immigration system. Congress is set to start a six-week recess.
Partisanship flashed at the hearing, with Chairman Jerry Nadler citing examples of poor immigrant conditions.
But Brian S. Hastings, chief of Customs and Border Protection law enforcement operations, pushed back hard and rapped Democratic attacks on border agents.
In his testimony, he said that illegals who have surged into the U.S. beyond numbers the Border Patrol can handle have received proper care and attention. He added that there has “never been a shortage” of food or healthcare items.
What’s more, he revealed that the agency has spent $230 million on those goods and erected several portable holding facilities.
Hastings said, “The temporary structures are weatherproof, climate-controlled, and provide areas for eating, sleeping, recreation and personal hygiene. These facilities include shower trailers, chemical toilets and sinks, laundry trailers, sleeping mats, personal property storage boxes, lockers, power, kitchen equipment, food/snacks/water, clothing, and hygiene kits. Border Patrol has invested over $230 million in humanitarian support such as consumables, including meals, snacks, baby formula, shampoo, diapers, and other hygiene items; enhanced medical support; and increased transportation services.”