On Wednesday morning, Border Patrol agents encountered two Guatemalan brothers, ages 2 and 6, who had crossed into the United States without family members, their shirts had the names and phone numbers of their U.S. contacts.
The boys were part of a group of 18 immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala and Cuba who met the agents near La Gruula in Texas’ southernmost Rio Grande Valley region.
“Many unaccompanied children encountered by Border Patrol are too young to provide the names or phone numbers of family members,” the agency said. Say in a press release.
Finding adequate contact details for such unaccompanied migrants means “agents must rely on information written on clothing or handwritten notes found on their property, adults in groups and/or consulates in their home countries,” Border Patrol continued.
This year, Border Patrol encountered about 140,000 unaccompanied minors crossing the border into the United States, according to government statistics.
When federal officials encounter unaccompanied children, they are detained by the government until a family contact in the United States can be found, or, unless they do, transportation can be arranged to return to the immigrant’s home country.
The treatment of immigrant children is back in the spotlight after governors in Texas and Florida sent buses and planes full of immigrants to free jurisdictions as a political stunt this year.
At least a dozen children, including some newborns, have been put on such transport in recent weeks, according to a independent analyze.
Meanwhile, single adults entering the U.S. are often kicked out of the country before they can gain legally protected asylum rights under the controversial Trump-era Section 42 program.
The policy is reportedly a putative pandemic measure concocted by Stephen Miller, the Trump administration’s chief immigration adversary Protest against the CDCallowing immigration officials to deny entry to asylum seekers on Covid grounds.
Fired this year under Biden administration’s health rules August update Despite previous plans to abandon it, it appears to be on track to surpass the 1.07 million performed in 2021, According to border patrol statistics.