(CNN) — The number of unaccompanied immigrant minors in border facilities reached its highest point Sunday since the federal government began releasing data last week.
There were 5,767 children in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Sunday, up from 5,495 children on Thursday. The numbers have increased with each day the data was released, with Sunday being the most recent data available.
However, the total number of unaccompanied immigrant minors in U.S. government custody fell slightly from more than 18,000 minors last Thursday to around 17,650 on Sunday, the data shows.
The latest custody data illustrates how the Biden administration continues to grapple with large numbers of unaccompanied minors in its care, particularly in its inability to remove minors from border facilities and into more appropriate Department of Health custody and custody. Human Services (HHS).
Internal government estimates previously obtained by CNN indicate that the Biden administration may need to at least 34,100 additional beds to keep up with the projected number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the US-Mexico border through September.
Internal estimates take into account current trends, as well as past influxes of immigrant minors, and show an anticipated monthly increase that could result in the arrival of at least 158,000 unaccompanied minors from April to September.
The number of minors detained by CBP and placed in border facilities on Sunday again exceeded the number of minors transferred to HHS, the agency charged with caring for immigrant minors once they enter the United States.
While the president has vowed to make immigration reform legislation a priority of his administration, Congress has long failed to garner enough bipartisan support to pass any legislation that changes the country’s immigration system.
During his first press conference as president last week, Biden vowed that conditions for unaccompanied minors arriving in the U.S. will improve, blaming the previous administration and cooler weather for the surge in immigrants at the border.
“The reason they come is that it is the time when they can travel with the least probability of dying on the road due to the heat in the desert, number one. Number two, they come due to the circumstances of the country, “said Biden.
Although arrivals at the border tend to increase in the spring, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation and further limited the ability along the border to process migrants.
For comparison, in May 2019, at the height of that crisis, the US Border Patrol arrested 11,475 unaccompanied minors. In June 2014, during the boom in the arrival of minors at the border, the United States Border Patrol arrested 10,620 unaccompanied minors.
CNN’s Phil Mattingly, Priscilla Alvarez, Maegan Vazquez, and Ryan Nobles contributed to this report.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism