Originally Published in CNN
Priscilla Alvarez and Geneva Sands - March 16, 2021
That's the reality for the thousands of unaccompanied migrant children
held up in US Border Patrol custody for days on end, according to case managers, attorneys and Border Patrol agents.
Bunk beds have been brought in to one of the processing facilities to help accommodate the influx of children. "Some of those are up to three bunks high," an agent told CNN, adding that children are also sleeping on plastic cots and mats on the floor and benches.
Customs and Border Protection is on pace to encounter more individuals on the border than in the last 20 years, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday, adding that the agency is coming across children as young as six and seven years old.
More than 300 unaccompanied migrant children have been in Border Patrol custody for more than 10 days, CNN has learned. More than 4,200 minors are currently in custody, with an average time of 120 hours.
Asked about in-custody numbers, a Homeland Security official told CNN: "It's terrible, it's going up, it's bad ... we're bludgeoned, totally over capacity."