CARRIZO SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — The Latest on unaccompanied immigrant children in government custody (all times local):
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says only 200 unaccompanied immigrant children remain in Border Patrol custody. That’s compared to up to 2,700 children the agency had last month.
Children who travel to the U.S. alone or who arrive with relatives who aren’t parents or legal guardians are considered unaccompanied minors. They are supposed to be turned over within 72 hours to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, which contracts with shelters. HHS then releases the children to a vetted sponsor, usually a relative.
But a spike in the number of unaccompanied kids and a delay in HHS picking them up resulted in children languishing in overcrowded Border Patrol facilities for weeks.