The Biden administration has deported hundreds of unaccompanied migrant minors from Mexico while taking children from Central America into federal custody and matching them with sponsors, the Border Report reported Tuesday.
U.S. officials returned over 660 unaccompanied minors from Mexico in the first three months of 2021, according to Mexican officials, the Border Report reported. Deported Mexican minors were taken to Nohemi Alvarez Quillay children’s shelter in Juarez, Mexico, until they could be reunited with family members.
“It is El Paso Sector Border Patrol policy to transfer all unaccompanied minors who seek asylum to the Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Refugee Resettlement. The U.S. Border Patrol, El Paso Sector does not expel minors under Title 42,” a CBP spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Title 42 is a public health order implemented by the Trump administration to rapidly expel migrants citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden administration lifted the requirement for unaccompanied migrant minors, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
Most of the unaccompanied Mexican children removed were from Guerrero, Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla or Oaxaca, though some of the minors told U.S. officials they were from the country despite origins in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, according to the Border Report.
All unaccompanied migrant minors are taken to Border Patrol processing facilities where they are medically screened and where agents attempt to collect biographical information such as name, age and country of origin from them, Hutchens told the Border Report.
Unaccompanied children from Mexico speak with the country’s consulate and their return is planned by U.S. and Mexican officials, the CBP spokesperson told the DCNF.
“In the case of Mexican unaccompanied minors, those receive an interview by a Mexican Consulate official and their return to Mexico is coordinated with Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM),” the spokesperson told the DCNF.
Over 47,600 unaccompanied migrant minors were encountered at the southwest border since October 2020, according to CBP. Nearly 25% of those encountered were children from Mexico, though the agency does not track how many of them were returned to Mexico.
CBP officials encountered over 172,000 migrants in March including nearly 19,000 unaccompanied minors, according to the agency. Some 22,195 unaccompanied children were in HHS care while another 683 were in CBP custody as of Monday.
The number of unaccompanied children in HHS custody nearly doubled from March to April, the DCNF reported. The Biden administration has focused on decreasing the amount of time unaccompanied minors spend in CBP custody by transferring them to HHS shelters where employees work to match them with sponsors in the interior of the U.S.
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