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New Record: U.S. Officials Predict an Average of 441 Unaccompanied Children Per Day at Southern Border

The Department of Homeland Security estimates more than 140,000 undocumented children will arrive at the US border this year. RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images
The Department of Homeland Security estimates more than 140,000 undocumented children will arrive at the US border this year. RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images

In a new report from the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an average of 441 unaccompanied children will cross the U.S.-Mexico border into border patrol’s custody every day in 2022, with the annual total projected as 148,000 to 161,000. 

This latest development comes as the Biden administration and its DHS officials continue to deal with the ongoing border crisis.

The new estimates from the DHS also describe the response to the influx of minors from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a government agency responsible for handling and placing unaccompanied minors in shelters. 

According to the current U.S. law, unaccompanied minors cannot be sent back across the border unless their country of origin is Canada or Mexico.

Ever since the Biden administration came to office in 2020, the U.S. southern border has had increased crossings from illegal immigrants from Mexico, given the overturning of Trump-era policies that helped prevent these types of surges from occurring. 

Under the Trump administration, the President and his DHS officials enacted strict measures to curtail illegal immigration on the U.S. southern border, reducing the number of migrants crossing the border and providing border patrol agents with necessary resources. 

With a more lax approach to immigration, President Biden and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have allowed the number of individuals crossing the border to increase to tens of thousands. 

In states like Arizona and Texas, state officials have devoted resources to stopping the influx and blamed the Biden administration for their inability to get the situation under control. 

When journalists and media outlets ask about the ongoing border crisis and the latest reports on illegal crossings during press briefings, administration officials have dismissed such concerns as a yearly pattern.

Border agents have complained about the lack of support and resources needed to curtail the increased activity on the U.S. southern border, raising concerns with Secretary Mayorkas and blaming the President’s policies for the surge. 

In late January 2022, Secretary Mayorkas visited border patrol agents in Texas, facing boiling criticism as agents criticized his policies, placing responsibility on him for releasing criminal aliens into the country. 

Members of Congress from both political sides have criticized the President and the DHS and its handling of illegal immigrant crossings, calling on officials to provide information and explanations on the surges and how it plans to address them. 

With the 2022 Midterms in November, some Democrats have become more critical of Secretary Mayorkas’ policies, fearing that the ongoing crises at the southern border will help Republicans win the House of Representatives and the Senate. 

Republican politicians have called for more funding and resources for border patrol agents and for the administration to get tough on the situation before it is too late.

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