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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."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with First Lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.