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5 Key Takeaways: How the Biden-Harris Administration Has Taken Dramatic Action to Swiftly Improve Situation At Southern Border

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Today, the Bidden-Harris administration announced remarkable success in decreasing the number of unaccompanied migrant children held in custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection—with a decline of nearly 84 percent in the last month alone.

CNN: Number of Children Held in Border Patrol Facilities Drops 84% Since Peak Last Month

Here are some key takeaways from a recent White House report showcasing the actions taken by the Biden-Harris administration to improve the situation on the Southern Border:

1. Dramatically Improved the Processing of Unaccompanied Children:

  • “The administration successfully reduced the number of unaccompanied children in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities. As of April 28th, there were 954 children in CBP facilities, down from 5,767 on March 28.”
  • “The administration reduced the average amount of time children are in CBP facilities to 28 hours, compared with 133 hours on March 28.”

2. Removed Barriers to Unifying Children with Parents and Sponsors:

  • “DHS and HHS rescinded an agreement from the former administration that subjected undocumented parents to immigration enforcement when they came forward to claim their child.”
  • “HHS is expanding the availability of sites where sponsors can be fingerprinted as part of the background check process. 1,300 new sites should be available beginning in two weeks.”

3. Implemented Humane and Orderly Immigration Processes and Protocols:

  • “DHS has successfully processed over 9,100 eligible people who had been returned to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) to reenter the United States to pursue their active U.S. immigration cases in a safe and orderly manner.”
  • “DHS has developed a partnership model […] to ensure that family units and single adults released from DHS custody are COVID tested and isolated in compliance with CDC recommendations.”

4. Created Legal Pathways for Protection and Opportunity:

  • “State and DHS restarted the Central American Minors (CAM) program to reunite children with their parents in the U.S. through refugee resettlement or humanitarian parole they can access from within the region, rather than undertake dangerous irregular migration to the United States.”
  • “State and DHS resumed processing of refugee cases through the Protection Transfer Arrangement (PTA) with Costa Rica, which had been suspended due to COVID-19. “
  • “DHS announced 6,000 temporary, non-agricultural worker – or H-2B – visas for nationals of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala for FY 2021.”

5. Addressed the Root Causes of Migration and Provided Humanitarian Assistance to People in the Northern Triangle:

  • “USAID announced $125M to mitigate the impact of recurrent drought, food shortages, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will provide emergency food assistance, improve livelihoods, and provide protection for the most vulnerable persons.”
  • “The U.S. Department of Defense will provide $26M to increase its partnership activities in the region to provide essential health, education, and disaster relief services to the people of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.”
  • “State will provide $104M to meet the immediate safety and protection needs of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, and other vulnerable populations in the region.”
  • “USAID activated a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) and a Response Management Team (RMT) to respond to urgent humanitarian needs in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. These teams are focused on rapidly scaling up emergency food assistance, programs to help people earn an income, protection for the most vulnerable, and other critical humanitarian programs.”