U.S. border agency projects surge in child migrant crossings to last at least 7 months

The minimum projections for each of the next six months are thousands higher that the previous record set in May 2019.

The Biden administration projects the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border could spiral from more than 16,000 this month to as many as 26,000 in September, according to documents leaked to Axios.

Why it matters: Until this month, the record was 11,475 in May 2019. The minimum projections for each of the next six months are thousands higher than that.

  • To give a sense of how out of hand the crossings are getting, the administration projected just a month ago the figure for May would be 13,000. The new estimate is 22,000 to 25,000.
  • The Customs and Border Protection range for September is 22,000 to 26,000. Under any scenario, projections include a peak month that would double the record that stood until this month.
  • Spokespersons for the White House and the Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services referred Axios to DHS.

Between the lines: The new figures indicate government resources will be strained far longer than under usual seasonal migration patterns.

  • During his news conference last week, President Biden repeatedly described the border situation as normal: “Nothing has changed. … It happens every single, solitary year.”
  • But his own agencies are preparing for anything but normal, according to the leaked documents, dated last Wednesday.

By the numbers: CBP data back to 2010 showed the May 2019 record of 11,475 unaccompanied minors trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. [ … ]

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