by Jake Dima
Upwards of 61,000 unaccompanied illegal immigrant children have flooded the U.S. southern border since October, according to the Washington Examiner.
The mass entry of solitary children dwarfs the numbers of previous years, according to the Examiner. The 2018 fiscal year saw 49,100 cross. The current fiscal year tops this number, with still two months remaining before totals are finalized, according to a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report.
“The number of UAC (unaccompanied children) illegally entering the United States during this fiscal year has risen to levels we have never before seen,” Jonathan Hayes, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement at DHS, told the Examiner.
No fewer than 11,000 UACs were in custody with HHS in any month throughout the 2019 fiscal year, and a maximum of 14,000 were held in December.
Despite these numbers, there is no evidence of overcrowding, as the government body has had a surplus of beds for each month from October to June, the HHS report details.
The average stay in an HHS facility is declining. The month of November had a reported high of over 3 months average stay, while the months of April to June showed average stays at approximately a month and a half.
The time spent in a facility may be dropping, but the cost of these migrants is soaring. $230 million has already been spent on everything from toiletries to snacks, the Examiner reports.
However, testament from Brian S. Hastings, chief of Customs and Border Protection law enforcement operations, seems to contradict these schools of thought. Facilities are equipped with, “shower trailers, chemical toilets and sinks, laundry trailers, sleeping mats, personal property storage boxes, lockers, power, kitchen equipment, food/snacks/water, clothing, and hygiene kits,” he said, according the Examiner.
He adds there has never been a shortage of these items.
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Jake Dima is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.