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An migrant girl from Central America in Brownsville, Texas. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. authorities picked up a record number of unaccompanied children —nearly 19,000— at the southern border in March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement on Thursday.

Why it matters: Crossings of unaccompanied minors are on the rise and are expected to continue for months, possibly reaching as many as 26,000 by September, Axios previously reported.

  • The previous record of unaccompanied minors crossing the border— 11,475—dates from May 2019.
  • The White House has not yet responded to a request for comment.

But, but, but: The majority of people crossing the border are single adults, the CBP said. In March, 172,000 persons attempted to cross the Southwest border, they added.

Border crossings have been on the rise since April 2020 due to "violence, natural disasters, food insecurity, and poverty in Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Central America," CBP noted in the statement.

What's more: The surge in unaccompanied children has also strained border facilities and prompted the Biden administration to put out a call for volunteers to help care for them.

Go deeper

Feds adding new space next to overcrowded border facility

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.

Updated Apr 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Texas launches investigation into claims of abuse at migrant facility

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a press conference in Austin in May 2020. Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images

Texas officials have launched an investigation into reports alleging sexual and other abuse and neglect at a San Antonio facility housing migrant teenagers who'd arrived from the southern border, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday.

Why it matters: The investigation into the three separate reports at the Freeman Coliseum marks the first time state officials have announced a probe into an emergency facility set up by the U.S. government in Texas in response to a significant rise in border crossings of unaccompanied youths, AP notes.

Biden says he hopes to give COVID vaccines to other countries by summer

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday said he hopes the United States will have ample COVID-19 vaccine supply for domestic use by this summer and enough doses to share the inventory with other countries.

The state of play: Biden on Tuesday ramped up his administration's vaccine timeline, ordering all states to make the shots available to Americans ages 16 and older by April 19. He previously set May 1 as the target date.