President Joe Biden said in his press conference last Thursday that the seasonal unaccompanied children migrations right now are not out of the ordinary, yet recent data out of Customs and Border Protection are projecting almost double the previous estimates.
In fact, the prior monthly record was 11,475 in May 2019, but there were around 16,000 this month, with as many as 26,000 projected in September, Axios reported.
Just a month ago the May projections for unaccompanied minors were 13,000, but the CBP data is now forecasting 22,000 to 25,000 for May, according to the report.
Notably, even the low-end projection for September is now even more than double the previous record high set during the Trump administration.
"Nothing has changed," Biden said last week, adding, "it happens every single, solitary year" – comments that clearly do not match his administration's own data, which were leaked to Axios and dated last Wednesday.
Axios sent out requests for comment to the White House, Department of Homeland Security, and the Health and Human Services Department. Only HHS responded and it merely redirected Axios to DHS.
Biden has come under fire for a lack of transparency at the border, something that was prevalent during the Trump administration, which sought maximum sunlight for the mass migration issues to help curb the problem. Biden, meanwhile, has vowed to keep media cameras out of border facilities and away from border ride-alongs until his policies get off the ground, he said in the first solo press conference of his administration.
The rise in child migrations became problematic in 2011 during the Obama administration, as yearly sheltering totaled no more than 8,230 children from 2004-2009, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
Those yearly totals pale in comparison to the monthly counts now. The annual 2021 estimate of children migration is between 159,000 to 184,000, according to Axios.
To remain at a targeted cap of 90% capacity, HHS needs 6,000 shelter beds for children, which would house those already in U.S. government custody, Axios reported.
Amid the projected crush of unaccompanied children, data forecasts HHS will have more than 53,000 kids in custody in September. That is closing in on the annual total of 69,000 during the Obama administration in 2014, according to Axios.
The data leaked to Axios did not project migrant families coming together, but the DHS expectations are 500,000-800,000 coming in family groups this year, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
"Border security drops tremendously because of this," retired CBP agent Roy Villareal told the Post, noting family migration takes up time and resources that are needed to address crime, drugs, and human trafficking at the border.
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