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New Migrant Facilities Crop Up To Ease Crowding, Again

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FILE - In this March 30, 2021, file photo, young unaccompanied migrants, from ages 3 to 9, watch television inside a playpen at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley, in Donna, Texas. For the third time in seven years, U.S. officials are scrambling to handle a dramatic spike in children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone, leading to a massive expansion in emergency facilities to house them as more kids arrive than are being released to close relatives in the United States. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, Pool, File)

By ADRIANA GOMEZ LICON and AMY TAXIN Associated Press

U.S. officials are scrambling to handle a dramatic spike in children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone. It’s led to a massive expansion in emergency facilities to house them as more kids arrive than can be released to close relatives in the United States.

Advocates and former U.S. officials say the government failed to prepare for a big increase in children traveling alone as President Joe Biden ended some of his predecessor’s hardline immigration policies and decided that unaccompanied kids wouldn’t be expelled from the country like the Trump administration did for eight months.

So many children are coming that there’s little room in long-term care facilities, where capacity shrank during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

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