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The temporary Customs and Border Protection processing center in Donna, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Biden administration is opening a temporary facility for unaccompanied migrant children next to the Texas border patrol processing center where leaked photos and videos have revealed overcrowded holding areas.

Why it matters: The new facility in Donna, Texas, will allow the administration to release kids from border patrol custody faster — even while they remain in a temporary setting on land owned by Customs and Border Protection.

  • The new unit is called Delphi and will be overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • The administration has been focused on getting minors out of border stations and into HHS supervision as soon as possible.
  • The Rio Grande Valley sector, which includes Donna, has been receiving some of the largest numbers of migrants over the past few months.

Between the lines: Border officials told Republican members of Congress and a handful of staffers about the new facility during a tour of Donna‘s temporary tent-like structures on Tuesday morning.

  • The officials said they were sending more than 300 migrant minors to the new facility on Tuesday — the first day it was open, according to two people who were briefed.
  • From one parking area of the border station, construction work could be seen through a fence.
  • The facility will be able to hold as many as 1,500 13- to 17-year-old boys and girls, HHS said in a statement provided to Axios. Minors will be tested for COVID-19 before and during their stay at Delphi, according to an HHS fact sheet.

By the numbers: The administration has managed to get the total number of kids waiting in border patrol custody under 5,000, according to the most recent agency data.

  • Still, pods in the Donna facility intended to hold around 48 migrants are now holding more than 300 — and in one, more than 500 — according to people on the tour who were briefed on the numbers.
  • An average of around 500 non-Mexican minors have been crossing the border every day over the last month.

Go deeper

White House nominates Rick Spinrad as NOAA leader

In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, a Cat. 4 storm, moves slowly past Grand Bahama Island on September 2, 2019. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

The White House on Thursday evening nominated Rick Spinrad, an oceanographer at Oregon State University, to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Why it matters: Filling the NOAA slot would complete the Biden administration's leadership on the climate and environment team. The agency, located within the Commerce Department, houses the National Weather Service and conducts much of the nation's climate science research.

3 hours ago - World

Israeli officials will object to restoration of Iran deal in D.C. visit

Photo: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the delegation traveling to Washington, D.C. next week for strategic talks on Iran to stress their objection to a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal and to refuse to discuss its contents, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: That position is similar to the one Israel took in the year before the 2015 nuclear deal was announced, which led to a rift between the Israeli government and the Obama administration. History could now repeat itself.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases aren't budging — even after vaccinations doubled— Health care workers feel stress, burnout more than a year into the pandemic — Handful of "breakthrough" COVID cases occurred in nursing homes, CDC says.
  2. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson's vaccine production problems look even bigger — All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. Political: Watchdog says agency infighting increased health and safety risks at start of pandemic.
  4. World: EU regulator: Benefits of J&J vaccine outweigh risk of rare blood clots.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.