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Over 800 Migrant Children Detained at Border in Highest Daily Total This Year

A U.S. Border Patrol agent processes asylum-seeking unaccompanied minors as families sit nearby after about 70 migrants crossed the Rio Grande River from Mexico in Penitas, Texas, March 17, 2021. (Adrees Latif/Reuters)

Border Patrol agents detained 834 unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S.–Mexico border on Wednesday, according to data released by the Department of Health and Human Services.

That number is the highest since the Biden administration began reporting daily total apprehensions of migrant children earlier this year.

The number of children in custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection rose to 2,784 on Wednesday. Unaccompanied children are typically held in CBP facilities before being transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees care for unaccompanied minors. There are currently 14,523 children in HHS facilities.

The release comes after the Department of Homeland Security estimated that 210,000 migrants crossed the southern border in July, in court documents filed on August 2. That number includes an estimated 19,000 unaccompanied minors for the month of July, in what would be the highest monthly total since the year 2000.

The Biden administration has struggled to process hundreds of thousands of migrants who have illegally crossed into the U.S. in recent months. Border agents encountered 188,829 migrants in June, the highest monthly total in a decade, along with 180,641 migrants in May, 178,850 in April, and 173,265 in March.

On Monday the administration renewed a Title 42 policy allowing border agents to expel migrants directly back into Mexico without a court hearing, citing the risk of coronavirus spread. However, unaccompanied minors are exempt from that policy.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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