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Congressman Cuellar addresses migrant children in CBP custody

The average time in custody for unaccompanied children continues to hover around 130 hours, exceeding the 72 hour legal limit.
Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 9:37 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - White House officials say there’s an immediate priority along the U.S./Mexico border and moving unaccompanied migrant children out of Border Patrol custody.

U.S. law says children must be moved from the Border Patrol within 72 hours to the care of others, including the Department of Health and Human Services.

It’s an argument being heard across the country, the frightening conditions of dozens of migrants children and adults in overflowing facilities.

With numbers only continuing to rise, the Biden administration has not allowed anyone to visit these establishments, and from the looks of things, it’s with good reason.

We take a peek at some disturbing images at one holding facility in Donna, Texas and the growing debate whether we’re facing a crisis or not.

“It’s important to see what’s happening there,” said Representative Henry Cuellar. “I mean right now, a couple of nights ago, the Border Patrol released 150 people, without notification to appear, they just let them go which is just incredible.”

Congressman Henry Cuellar is quick to point out that the number of children held for prolonged periods of time has climbed almost daily.

More than 800 unaccompanied migrant children have been in Customs and Border Protection custody for more than 10 days.

The average time in custody for unaccompanied children continues to hover around 130 hours, exceeding the 72 hour legal limit.

”We were left with a very challenging situation and you know, let me start with saying I think we all agree and Secretary Mayorkas said it a number of times this weekend, let’s get these kids out of CBP custody, get them in HHS custody. We’ve got to treat this issue in a way that is reflective of our values as Americans and do it in a way that is fair and is humane.”

Regardless of who the president is, some say it’s a humanitarian crisis when unaccompanied children cross the border and it’s a hard situation to handle, but opponents remain vocal.

“Every single day that passes, we learn more failures by the Biden administration with regard to all of these federal facilities they’re using to house the migrants,” said Governor Greg Abbott.

Meanwhile, the number of children in Border Patrol facilities is rising daily, but the total number of children in Customs and Border Protection custody has fallen to just under 4,900.

“It’s just horibble- because you’re putting the hands of young kids in the hands of criminals, and you know that’s not a good combination.”

Top U.S. officials are traveling to Mexico with plans to ask leaders there to help stem the flow of migrant traffic.

President Biden says he will make the trip to the border at some point.

Senior members of the Biden administration met with officials in Mexico on Monday to discuss the increase of minors coming into the U.S.

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