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Biden: No child should be in border facility for more than 72 hours

Biden: No child should be in border facility for more than 72 hours
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President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE said Thursday that no child should be kept at Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) facilities for longer than the legally allowed 72 hours as his administration scrambles to find housing for the crush of migrant children that have arrived at the Southern Border in recent weeks.

Speaking at his first press conference since becoming president, Biden said he’s coordinating with the Defense Department to open up military facilities, including at Fort Bliss, where he said 5,000 beds would become available this week at the Southern border.

“We’re providing for the space to get kids out of CBP facilities that no child should be in longer than 72 hours,” Biden said.

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The U.S. is in custody of more than 15,000 unaccompanied minors that have made the dangerous journey from Mexico or the Northern Triangle countries seeking refuge in the U.S. 

Thousands of children have been kept in CBP cells for longer than the legally allowed 72 hours because there is not enough government housing available to deal with the surge of child migrants. 

The Biden administration is racing to place children at new facilities, including military bases and convention centers, or to place them in foster homes under the care of Health and Human Services so they have access to educational, health and legal services.

Biden blamed former President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE for “dismantling” the immigration system, saying his predecessor defunded government agencies that would be providing housing and services for the migrant children.

“[Trump] dismantled all that so we’re attempting to rebuild a system that can accommodate what can happen today,” Biden said.