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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

48 mins ago - World

Blinken to visit Ukraine as Russia invasion threat looms

Blinken (R) with President Zelensky. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/Pool via Getty

Secretary of State Antony Tony Blinken will travel to Ukraine on Tuesday as the country faces an ongoing threat of Russian invasion.

Driving the news: Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, as well as officials at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to discuss contingency planning. He'll then travel to Berlin to meet German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and attend a meeting of the "Transatlantic Quad" — France, Germany, the U.K. and U.S.

Updated 54 mins ago - World

At least 3 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least three people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Tuesday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. Officials in Tonga confirmed three deaths in the country's first official statement since the crisis began.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Charted: GOP surged as Biden slumped

Expand chart
Reproduced from Gallup. (Independents were asked their party leaning.) Chart: Axios Visuals

Gallup polling found a huge shift in party preference over the course of 2021, from a 9-point Democratic advantage in the first quarter to a 5-point Republican edge in the fourth quarter.

Why it matters: It's the biggest swing in one calendar year for Gallup's 30 years of tracking.