The number of migrant children being detained by the government has reached its highest level ever, according to a report by The New York Times. Data obtained by the Times showed that 12,800 children were detained in federal custody this month, compared to 2,400 children detained in May 2017. Federal shelters housing migrant children have remained filled at around 90 percent capacity since May of this year.
The increase is not due to an influx of more migrant children, but rather because fewer children are being released into the custody of sponsors. Unaccompanied children have traditionally been placed with sponsors such as parents or extended family members upon entering the U.S.
However, a new rule implemented by the Trump administration in June requires sponsors to be fingerprinted in order to pick up children, and that information is shared with immigration officials. Many would-be sponsors are undocumented themselves, and therefore are reluctant to be fingerprinted and risk deportation.
Read an article about the possibility of second chance asylum for immigrant children by clicking here.