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Expand chart
Illustrations: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Since October of last year, border patrol has arrested almost a quarter of a million child migrants who crossed the border alone or with their family, a Customs and Border Protection official told Axios.

Why it matters: The U.S. immigration system is not set up to handle this surge of young migrants mostly from Central American nations — and it's breaking down.

  • Kids are being held beyond the legal time limits in Customs and Border Protection facilities, and the non-profit child shelters overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services are near capacity.
  • There are long wait times, sickness and even child deaths.

By the numbers: In fiscal year 2014, during the child migrant crisis under the Obama administration, 68,541 unaccompanied minors were caught crossing the border.

  • With 4 months left in the current fiscal year, more than 56,000 unaccompanied minors have already been arrested by border patrol, according to CBP data. Tens of thousands of children also crossed with at least one parent during that time — for a total of more than 230,000 children apprehended for crossing the border.

Here's what happens.

Expand chart
“I have stools and benches, but I have no beds. . . . Our facilities are not built for long-term holding, and they’re certainly not built to house children for very long at all.”
— A CBP official told the Washington Post
Expand chart

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 min ago - Economy & Business

2021: The year of surprise shortages

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American consumers and businesses face any array of shocking shortages in 2021 — the result of corporate miscalculations in the early days of the pandemic. The shortages range from labor to lumber to rental cars.

Why it matters: As vaccinations rise and the economy grows back to its pre-pandemic size, Americans are tantalized by the prospect of the country reverting to something approaching the familiar old normal. While that might happen eventually, it could take a surprisingly long time for a new equilibrium to establish itself.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
30 mins ago - Health

Why waiving vaccine patents might be a bad idea

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It will take more than waiving patent protections for coronavirus vaccines — which the Biden administration now says it supports — to fix the gaping global divide in access.

Why it matters: Waiving drug companies' intellectual property rights risks setting a bad precedent for future investment in new drugs. And that risk may not be worth it without additional steps to meaningfully increase the availability of shots across the world.

Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low

Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus infections in the U.S. are now at their lowest levels in seven months, thanks to the vaccines.

The big picture: The vaccines are turning the tide in America's battle with the coronavirus. Deaths and serious illnesses have dropped significantly, and now cases are falling too — an important piece of protection for the future, if we can keep it up.