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A migrant child at the Holding Institute shelter in Laredo, Texas, in May. Photo: Jonathan Alpeyrie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration will shut four emergency shelters housing record numbers of unaccompanied migrant children, as more minors arrive at the southern border, an official during a court hearing Tuesday, per AP.

What's happening: The Department of Health and Human Services plans to close two shelters in Texas and stop housing the children at two California convention centers in California by early August, Aurora Miranda-Maese, juvenile coordinator for the agency’s office of refugee resettlement, said at the hearing on custody conditions for minors, according to AP.

  • Miranda-Maese said more children are being sent to relatives in the U.S. or "state-licensed shelters" with a higher care standard.

The big picture: The Biden administration opened emergency facilities last spring to provide shelter for thousands of migrant children arriving from Mexico.

  • U.S. officials have seen a decline in the number of children housed in emergency facilities in recent days, including a drop of more than 40% at the Fort Bliss facility, near El Paso, Texas.
  • Miranda-Maese noted at the federal court hearing in Los Angeles that Health and Human Services was caring for some 15,000 children, with fewer than 3,000 in emergency facilities, but there had been a rise in arrivals at the border in the past week, AP reports.

Go deeper

Oct 7, 2021 - Health

Study: Over 142,000 children had caregivers die during COVID pandemic

A woman, 25, grieves with her daughter, 2, after her mother, 54, died at home of COVID on Sept. 13 in Houston. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

More than 142,000 children in the U.S. under the age of 18 had a primary caregiver die during the coronavirus pandemic, a new study shows.

By the numbers: The study, published by the medical journal Pediatrics, found that children of color accounted for 65% of those who had lost a primary caregiver during the pandemic.

Majority of Arkansas kids have lead in their blood

Expand chart
Reproduced from JAMA Pediatrics; Map: Axios Visuals

Two-thirds of Arkansas children under age 6 had detectable lead levels in their blood, a new study from JAMA Pediatrics found.

Why it matters: Exposures are much higher in children from communities with pre-1950s housing or high poverty rates, and in those who have public insurance.

Why people are moving to Texas from California

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

University of Texas at Austin and Stanford University released a joint study comparing the economic policies of California and Texas and how they affect quality of life.

Why it matters: The two most populous states in the country have long epitomized contrasting ideas about government, including policies on taxes, regulation and, more recently, pandemic response.

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