The number of unaccompanied children being held in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol for more than 10 days quadrupled in the last week despite the agency only being permitted to hold children for up to 73 hours, Axios reports.
Leaked documents from the Department of Homeland Security, which were updated last Saturday, reportedly show that 3,314 children have been held in custody longer than the 73-hour limit, with 2,226 of them being held for more than five days, and 823 being held for more than 10 days. Axios notes that as of Monday, another 185 children have been held in Border Patrol custody for more than 10 days.
President Joe Biden said on Sunday that he will visit the Southwest border “at some point,” and that “a lot more” could be done to send a message to anyone looking to come to the U.S. that they should apply before entering.
"We’re in the process of doing it now, including making sure that we reestablish what existed before, which was they can stay in place and make their case from their home country,” he told reporters at the White House.
When asked if he wanted to see what was happening inside border facilities, Biden said, "I know what's going on in those facilities."
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., recently tweeted after a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border: "Just left the border processing facility. 100s of kids packed into big open rooms. In a corner, I fought back tears as a 13 yr old girl sobbbed [sic] uncontrollably explaining thru a translator how terrified she was, having been separated from her grandmother and without her parents."
He added later, "For clarification, kids are no longer separated from their parents at the border (in this case, the girl's parents are in the US). But even though kids can now stay and apply for asylum, if they are traveling w relatives who aren't parents, the relative can't stay."
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that the Biden administration’s “message is quite clear: Do not come. The border is closed. The border is secure.”
He went on to say that the administration is “rebuilding” the immigration systems that former President Donald Trump “tore down,” during his time in office.
"It is difficult because the entire system was dismantled by the prior administration," Mayorkas said. "There was a system in place in both Republican and Democratic administrations, that was torn down during the Trump administration, and that is why the challenge is more acute than it ever has been before"
Trump said in a statement on Sunday that his administration “proudly handed the Biden Administration the most secure border in history. All they had to do was keep this smooth-running system on autopilot. Instead, in the span of a just few weeks, the Biden Administration has turned a national triumph into a national disaster. They are in way over their heads and taking on water fast."
He also ripped the Department of Homeland Security, saying they put on a “pathetic, clueless performance,” and said, "even someone of Mayorkas’ limited abilities should understand that if you provide Catch-and-Release to the world’s illegal aliens then the whole world will come."
Trump added, "It’s clear they are engaged in a huge cover-up to hide just how bad things truly are. The only way to end the Biden Border Crisis is for them to admit their total failure and adopt the profoundly effective, proven Trump policies."
Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.
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