02:55 GMT18 May 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Biden administration has opened its 17th emergency care facility to accommodate the surge of asylum-seeking migrant children arriving at the southern US border, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said on Thursday.

    "As part of the Biden administration’s work to create solutions to move unaccompanied children out of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities as quickly as possible, the Long Beach Convention Center Emergency Intake Site (EIS) in Long Beach, California, will receive the first unaccompanied children today, approximately 150 children," the agency said in a press release.

    The Long Beach facility can hold up to 1,000 migrant children, the release said.

    The United States has more than 23,000 unaccompanied migrant children currently housed in federal care facilities as of Tuesday.

    US government data revealed earlier this month that border apprehensions along the southern border with Mexico soared by more than 70 percent in March. The 172,331 migrant encounters recorded make up the highest monthly total in more than two decades, with the Biden administration on pace to top the previous annual record set in 2019 of over 977,000 apprehensions.

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