So many migrants have been caught illegally crossing into the United States that the Biden administration is constructing a temporary annex facility for unaccompanied minors next to the Texas border patrol processing center which made headlines after photos and videos revealed giant rooms full of mylar-wrapped migrants packed into plastic pens. In some instances, over 300 migrants have been crammed into pods intended to hold just 48 people.
The Donna, Texas annex will allow officials to release children from the Customs and Border Protection facility faster - where they'll sit in another building on CPB-owned land, according to Axios, which notes that the new unit, dubbed Delphi, will be overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services.
More via Axios:
- The administration has been focused on getting minors out of border stations and into HHS supervision as soon as possible.
- The Rio Grande Valley sector, which includes Donna, has been receiving some of the largest numbers of migrants over the past few months.
Between the lines: Border officials told Republican members of Congress and a handful of staffers about the new facility during a tour of Donna‘s temporary tent-like structures on Tuesday morning.
- The officials said they were sending more than 300 migrant minors to the new facility on Tuesday— the first day it was open, according to two people who were briefed.
- From one parking area of the border station, construction work could be seen through a fence.
- The facility will be able to hold as many as 1,500 13-17 year-old boys and girls, HHS said in a statement provided to Axios. Minors will be tested for COVID-19 before and during their stay at Delphi, according to an HHS fact sheet.
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According to the most recent agency data, the Biden administration has reduced the number of migrant children in CPB custody to 4,699 as of Sunday.