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On Thanksgiving, a girl stands next to messages tacked to the US-Mexico border fence in Playas de Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. (Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images)

A record 14,030 immigrant children were in shelters across the country as of last week, one-third of them in Texas, the Houston Chronicle's Lomi Kriel reports.

Why it matters: "It is almost three times the number of children in federal detention a year ago."

Why it's happening: "Advocates largely fault a new government requirement, implemented this summer, that requires all adults in a household seeking to care for an immigrant child to submit their fingerprints for a background check. That information is shared with the Department of Homeland Security and at least 41 so-called sponsors lacking legal status have been arrested,

"Under a California judge’s orders, most of the separated families have now been reunited, and almost all of the children currently in shelters came here on their own."

  • But the kids are "being detained longer — an average of 75 days in August, compared to 59 days in June and 41 days in fiscal year 2017."
  • "The daily discharge rate plummeted to 1 percent as of Nov. 15, meaning far more children are being placed in shelters than released."

P.S. Immigration remained a flashpoint even on Thanksgiving, generating two of the day's top stories:

  • Hillary Clinton said in an interview with The Guardian that Europe must get a handle on immigration to combat a growing threat from rightwing populists, and said the continent’s leaders need to send out a stronger signal that they are “not going to be able to continue to provide refuge and support."
  • At Mar-a-Lago, President Trump threatened to close "the whole border": "If we find that it’s uncontrollable, ..., if we find that it gets to a level where we lose control or people are going to start getting hurt, we’re going to close entry into the country for a period of time until we get it under control."
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Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Alabama's new congressional map rejected by federal judges

The Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Federal judges on Monday night blocked Alabama's newly drawn congressional map and ordered the Republican-led State Legislature to create a new one that includes two districts, rather than the planned one.

Why it matters: "Black voters have less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress," the panel of three judges wrote in their ruling.

Australian Open organizers reverse "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirt ban

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai during the 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo: Bai Xue/Xinhua via Getty Images

Australian Open organizers on Tuesday reversed a ban on t-shirts supporting Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai following widespread criticism.

Why it matters: Tennis Australia's announcement came less than 24 hours after the governing body defended the decision to ask fans last Friday to remove "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirts, citing ticket policy prohibiting political clothing, per the BBC.