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Documents show strained capacity at US border facilities: CNN

Documents show strained capacity at US border facilities: CNN
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Unaccompanied minors at the U.S. border with Mexico are detained an average of over three days, straining hospital capacity, according to government documents viewed by CNN.

Customs and Border Protection documents indicate that in the last 21 days, the U.S. Border Patrol arrested some 340 unaccompanied minors, who spent an average of 77 hours in Border Patrol facilities. U.S. law requires unaccompanied minors to be released within 72 hours.

In one Yuma, Ariz., facility, for example, the documents showed 600 children and adults were detained in an area intended for 104 people, while a Rio Grande facility kept more than 2,000 detainees in a space intended for 715 at one point.

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The number of unaccompanied children in custody has increased under the Biden administration as it has stopped applying a Trump-era policy that turned migrants back under a public health order.

Although Biden was only in office for 11 days in January, the number of unaccompanied children and families taken into custody at the border increased in January to more than 5,800 children and some 7,500 families, according to CNN.

"The rate at which people are coming across the borders is exceeding the levels we saw in 2019, a former Department of Homeland Security official told CNN, comparing the situation to two years ago when a wave of unaccompanied minors led to over-capacity facilities.

"The challenge right now is in addition to limited capacity, you have a COVID umbrella over everything, which restricts the ability of HHS to move people out of custody, with the additional historical issues [the Office of Refugee Resettlement] has had meeting the operational challenge on the border," the official added.

The Biden administration, which emphasized its distinction from the Trump administration on border policies, has pushed back on comparisons of the two.

The president last week expressed hope the facilities for minors “won’t stay open for very long,” while White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOfficer who fatally shot Daunte Wright released on 0K bail Iran supreme leader dismisses Vienna talks on nuclear deal as 'not worth looking at' Indirect talks with Iran over nuclear deal to resume Thursday MORE said on “The View” that the White House had determined the facilities were “the best decision” amid the pandemic.