by WorldTribune Staff, July 26, 2019
Though unaccompanied minor children are entering the U.S. in numbers beyond what the Border Patrol can handle, there “has never been a shortage” of food or healthcare items for the children, the head of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) law enforcement operations told Congress on July 25.
Pushing back against Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee who insisted the children were subjected to poor conditions at CBP holding facilities, Brian S. Hastings said the agency has spent $230 million on humanitarian goods and constructed several portable holding facilities.
Hastings said, “The temporary structures are weatherproof, climate-controlled, and provide areas for eating, sleeping, recreation and personal hygiene. These facilities include shower trailers, chemical toilets and sinks, laundry trailers, sleeping mats, personal property storage boxes, lockers, power, kitchen equipment, food/snacks/water, clothing, and hygiene kits. Border Patrol has invested over $230 million in humanitarian support such as consumables, including meals, snacks, baby formula, shampoo, diapers, and other hygiene items; enhanced medical support; and increased transportation services.”
Some 61,000 unaccompanied migrant children (UAC) have surged over the U.S.-Mexico border since October. The number tops the total for fiscal year 2016, at 59,170 turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Jonathan H. Hayes, the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement at DHS, said that the agency on one day held a high of 13,700, and it is down to 11,000. “The number of UAC entering the United States during this fiscal year has risen to levels we have never before seen,” he said.