Leaked documents from the Department of Health and Human Services reveals that the number of unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the United States has skyrocketed in recent months, Axios reports.
During the first week of January 2021, while Donald Trump was still President, 47 children were attempting to cross into the United States on a daily basis.
By the end of January, that number had skyrocketed to 203 per day, and has since risen even more to 321 per day by the beginning of March.
The report also admits that the shelter system is nearly at full capacity, and is expected to be overflowing with children by the end of March.
Despite worries of reaching full capacity, the Biden administration has refused to declare the situation to be an emergency.
The administration has instead responded by opening more facilities for unaccompanied minors, a move which drew criticism from progressives. The opening of such facilities also fueled charges of hypocrisy from conservatives, who have noted that the detention of children under former President Trump had previously been subject to intense criticism from Democrats.
While the Biden administration has continued using Trump-era policies to allow for the speedy deportation of adults and their families, they have been more reluctant to use such measures against unaccompanied children, arguing that it would be inhumane.
Former Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has blamed the Biden administration for the surge in unaccompanied minors crossing the border, arguing that they are sending the "wrong message" by suggesting that there is a time to cross the border, but it's not right now. Wolf said that such a message is too "nuanced" for human traffickers.
The Department of Homeland Security is expecting that 2021 will see more unaccompanied minors crossing the border than any previous year.