The daily average as of Tuesday is up from around 500 earlier this month, and far surpasses the height of the 2019 surge of migrant families, when Border Patrol apprehended around 370 unaccompanied children a day on average, according to agency data.
As of Tuesday morning, around 4,800 unaccompanied minors were in CBP custody, according to the official, down just slightly from the number in custody Monday. Of the 4,800, more than 3,300 — or around 70% — were in custody longer than the 72-hour legal limit, the official added.
Still, the Biden administration has pushed back against characterizing the flow of migrants as a “crisis,” maintaining instead that it’s a challenge.
Over the weekend, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the administration’s work at the southern border and placed blame on the Trump administration for dismantling the immigration system, saying his department has to rebuild it “from scratch.”
“They are not meant for children, and that’s why he wants to open more shelters and increase and expedite processing at the border,” Psaki told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” Monday.
“And that’s an issue he’s focused on every single day.”