US could end up holding 30,000 migrant children by August: report
The government could be holding up to 30,000 migrant children by the end of August if current detention rates continue, the Washington Examiner reported.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently taking in about 250 migrant children a day, a senior administration official told the Examiner. The department is responsible for migrant children after they are separated from their parents.
HHS expects to continue taking in children at that rate for the next two months, according to the official, meaning it could be responsible for 18,500 more children by the end of the summer.
Currently, 11,500 children are under HHS custody, the official told the Examiner.
Last month, the Trump administration announced a “zero tolerance” immigration policy that would have federal agents aggressively prosecute adults attempting to cross the southern border illegally. The policy leads children to be separated from their parents as a result of adults having to be prosecuted separately.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, upon announcing the policy, said it would lead to more separations but would also act to deter future migrants from crossing the border.
The policy has been widely criticized, but the Trump administration has defended it by saying adults entering the U.S. illegally need to be prosecuted, even if it means their children are taken away from them.
President Trump has repeatedly blamed Democrats for the administration’s policy, but has not committed to fixing the family separation issue.