Biden moves to relieve strain of child border crossings


The Biden administration hopes to relieve the strain of thousands of unaccompanied children coming to the southern border by terminating a 2018 Trump-era order that discouraged potential family sponsors from coming forward to house the children

BALTIMORE — The Biden administration hopes to relieve the strain of thousands of unaccompanied children coming to the southern border by ending a Trump-era order that discouraged potential family sponsors from coming forward to care for them.

A senior administration official said Friday the Department of Health and Human Services was not a law enforcement agency and that the goal of Friday’s announcement was to encourage family members and other sponsors to step forward. It comes as U.S. authorities saw a 60% increase in children crossing the southwest border alone between January and February to more than 9,400. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Much of the policy has already been chipped away at through lawsuits and other directives, but administration officials said its full repeal sends a more forceful message. Government-funded facilities have been constrained because the coronavirus has limited how many beds are available, while the number of children crossing the border has overwhelmed the processing system. Officials say children are staying an average of 37 days at Health and Human Services-sponsored facilities.

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Spagat reported from San Diego.



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