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A child walks through tents at a migrant camp on the grounds of the National Institute for Migration near the "El Chaparral" border crossing. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

An internal Department of Homeland Security document leaked to Axios shows that 823 unaccompanied migrant children have been held in border patrol custody for over 10 days — more than a fourfold increase over the past week.

Why this matters: These facilities aren't meant to house kids for more than three days, but the recent surge of children at the southern border has overwhelmed the Biden administration's capacity to handle them.

Details: The maximum amount of time a child is legally supposed to be held in border patrol custody is 72 hours. But as of Saturday, 3,314 unaccompanied children had been in custody longer, with 2,226 for more than five days and 823 for more than 10 days.

  • The document, with figures updated through Saturday, shows how the Biden administration is struggling to manage the volume of child migrants.
  • The trend is accelerating. On last Monday, only 185 migrant children were being held in border patrol custody for more than 10 days.

The big picture: President Biden is telling migrants not to try to cross the border but Biden has chosen not to use an emergency order to turn away kids at the border, as was done under the Trump administration. The surge shows no sign of abating.

  • Analysts cite the policy change and Biden's more welcoming rhetoric to immigrants among various factors driving the surge — along with damaging hurricanes in Central America and general desperation that intensified during a pandemic.
  • Under U.S. law, U.S. Customs and Border Protection must initially receive unaccompanied children until the Department of Health and Human Services indicates there is space to accept them in one of their shelters.

After a recent visit to the border, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy tweeted: "Just left the border processing facility. 100s of kids packed into big open rooms. In a corner, I fought back tears as a 13 yr old girl sobbbed [sic] uncontrollably explaining thru a translator how terrified she was, having been separated from her grandmother and without her parents."

  • "For clarification," Murphy added in a follow-up tweet, "kids are no longer separated from their parents at the border (in this case, the girl's parents are in the US). But even though kids can now stay and apply for asylum, if they are traveling w relatives who aren't parents, the relative can't stay."
  • The administration has been hurriedly securing additional facilities, including hotel rooms and temporary sites, to house the growing numbers of migrant children and families.

What they're saying: A Biden administration official tells Axios that the administration has been clear at all levels that CBP facilities are no place for children and that officials are working around the clock to transfer children to HHS shelters or the homes of vetted relatives or sponsors.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
27 mins ago - Economy & Business

The mobile gaming gold rush

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Electronic Arts this morning announced that it will pay $1.4 billion to buy Playdemic, a mobile gaming studio whose titles include "Golf Clash," from Warner Bros.

Why it matters: This comes just months after EA paid $2.1 billion to buy Glu Mobile. It also resolves talk that not all of WB Games would get included in the Discovery merger.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Warren Buffett resigns from Gates Foundation board

Buffett and Bill Gates in 2015. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — the second-largest philanthropy in the world — is now governed by just two trustees, after Warren Buffett announced on Wednesday that he had resigned his position there.

Why it matters: The two remaining trustees, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, are going through a divorce.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

U.K. denies Russia fired warning shots at destroyer in Black Sea

The HMS Defender in the port of Odessa on Ukraine's Black Sea coast on June 18. Photo: Konstantin Sazonchik\TASS via Getty Images

Russia's defense ministry claimed Wednesday that a Russian warship and fighter jet fired "warning" shots at the British Royal Navy’s HMS Defender destroyer for encroaching on waters near Crimea in the Black Sea.

The latest: The U.K.'s ministry of defense disputed that any warning shots were fired, saying in a statement, "We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity."