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Record 122,000 Unaccompanied Migrant Children Arrive in US Shelters in 2021, Reports Say

© REUTERS / Jorge DuenesMigrants, part of a caravan of thousands trying to reach the U.S., gather at the border fence between Mexico and the United States after arriving in Tijuana, Mexico November 13, 2018
Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands trying to reach the U.S., gather at the border fence between Mexico and the United States after arriving in Tijuana, Mexico November 13, 2018 - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.12.2021
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WASHINGTON, DC (Sputnik) – US authorities took a record 122,000 unaccompanied migrant children into custody in the fiscal year 2021, CBS News reported on Thursday, citing government data it obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services.
"The program faced an unprecedented challenge at the beginning of this year," a senior official at the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the HHS agency that cares for unaccompanied children, told CBS News.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said HHS and the US were expecting to see a significant increase in the numbers of migrant children entering the US next year. To absorb the numbers, HHS has identified two facilities in North Carolina and New Mexico that can be converted into emergency housing facilities and staff are also expanding capacity at traditional shelters.
According to figures obtained by CBS, in fiscal years 2016 and 2019, when the previous records were set, HHS received 59,000 and 69,000 unaccompanied migrant children, respectively, historical government statistics show. For the six months beginning in March, more than 92,000 unaccompanied minors were transferred to HHS.
Officials say 147,000 unaccompanied children arrived at the US-Mexico border in the fiscal year 2021, which ended in October.
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