Mar 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

U.S. to open overflow facility for unaccompanied migrant kids

Border patrol.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent releases a young asylum seeker with her family at a bus station on February 25, 2021 in Brownsville, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Biden administration will open a new facility in Pecos, Texas to house unaccompanied migrant children, as it continues to deal with a surge in arrivals at the Southwest border, NBC reports.

The big picture: The facility will open as the number of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has swelled in recent weeks, straining the government's sheltering capacities. That number is expected to grow exponentially through this spring, setting up a potential crisis for President Biden.

Details: The facility will initially house around 500 children, and could later expand to some 2,000, NBC reports citing a Department of Health and Human Services statement.

  • The children at the facility will receive "educational, medical, mental health, and recreational services until they can be unified with families or sponsors without undue delay," HHS told NBC.
  • HHS said it is "aggressively working with our interagency partners to ensure that unaccompanied migrant children are safe and unified with family members or other suitable sponsors as quickly and safely as possible."

Go deeper: ICE securing hotel rooms to hold growing number of migrant families

Go deeper