Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said on Sunday that 350 migrant children are in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody — down from 2,500 last month.
“On June 1 we have 2,500 children in our custody; 1,200 had been with us over three days. Now that we have the supplemental from Congress, HHS has additional beds. We only have 350 after yesterday afternoon’s report and only 20 of those children have been with us more than three days so that’s a huge improvement based on the resources we asked for from Congress and were finally given,” McAleenan said on ABC’s “This Week.”
There are still thousands of migrant children under the care of the U.S. government but after Congress passed a $4.6 billion border funding bill CBP shifted more children into the Department of Health and Human Services’ shelter system.
The conditions for migrant children in the detention centers and shelters have come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks because of scathing reports of deplorable conditions and rampant health problems.
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A New York Times report published on Saturday detailed outbreaks of scabies, shingles, and chickenpox among the children being held in a facility in Clint, Texas.
McAleenan also addressed the recent scandal involving thousands of former and current border agents belonging to racist and sexually violent Facebook groups. The roughly 1,000-member group — called “The Real CBP Nation” — was found to host to an image that mocks separating migrant families, multiple demeaning images of New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other mocking photos of minorities.
McAleenan claimed he was not previously aware of the group, although leaked internal emails suggest otherwise.