HHS: 14K unaccompanied immigrant kids in US custody

A record number of unaccompanied immigrant children, about 14,000, are currently in US custody, a Health and Human Services spokesman confirms.

Posted: Nov 25, 2018 5:48 PM
Updated: Nov 25, 2018 5:57 PM

A record number of unaccompanied immigrant children, about 14,000, are currently in US custody, a Health and Human Services spokesman said Friday.

The spokesman, Mark Weber, said the additional requirements put in place by the Trump administration to "reduce risk and increase safety" for immigrant children contributed to the high number.

"We are taking all possible steps to protect children in an environment with many bad actors," Weber said. "We are balancing speed with safety and will err on the side of safety."

The Houston Chronicle earlier reported the figure.

Last spring, the Trump administration heightened scrutiny of adults coming forward to take care of the immigrant children, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement now conducts exhaustive screenings of the adults. But many of them are undocumented themselves and fearful of ICE obtaining their information.

These Trump administration policies are likely keeping these children in custody.

Lawsuits have also accused the administration of extending children's stays, including allegedly holding them intentionally until they turn 18 and are eligible for stricter adult detention. Many of the children do have a legal right to stay in the US, but the legal process can take years.

Weber said the high number was also due to the 50,000 Department of Homeland Security referrals of unaccompanied children this year, which he said is the third-highest annual total. DHS referred 59,170 unaccompanied children to HHS in fiscal year 2016, according to a HHS fact sheet, and 40,810 in fiscal year 2017.

The number of children in custody changes daily because of referrals by DHS and HHS releases of children to sponsors, Weber said.

Most of these children arrived in the US unaccompanied. Children separated under Trump's so-called "zero tolerance" policy account for less than 200 of the reported 14,000. CNN reported earlier this month there are still 171 children separated from their families, four months after a judge ordered the US government to reunite the undocumented immigrant families it had split up at the border, according to court documents.

In 2016, the monthly average of the number of children in HHS's care ranged from just over 4,000 to over 9,000.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 68433

Reported Deaths: 2980
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14863719
Lake7101271
Elkhart459777
Allen3635158
St. Joseph315479
Hamilton2513104
Cass17519
Hendricks1750105
Vanderburgh172612
Johnson1652118
Porter119539
Tippecanoe110311
Clark108145
Madison84765
LaPorte83829
Kosciusko81912
Howard81065
Bartholomew74347
Marshall74222
Floyd69444
Monroe68630
Delaware63852
Noble63728
Boone63546
Dubois62612
Hancock62337
Jackson5524
LaGrange54210
Warrick51630
Shelby51126
Grant49629
Vigo47410
Dearborn46528
Morgan42532
Henry36118
Clinton3573
White34710
Montgomery34321
Lawrence32827
Wayne3179
Decatur31432
Harrison29422
Miami2582
Scott25010
Daviess24619
Greene23934
Franklin22410
DeKalb2224
Putnam2228
Jennings21012
Jasper2082
Gibson2004
Steuben2003
Ripley1887
Perry17212
Starke1657
Orange16424
Wabash1613
Posey1580
Fayette1557
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1462
Carroll1452
Wells1342
Knox1310
Huntington1183
Washington1161
Spencer1143
Newton11010
Tipton1075
Randolph1034
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan761
Pulaski721
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio514
Pike460
Parke451
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93963

Reported Deaths: 3539
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17254514
Cuyahoga12753477
Hamilton9160248
Lucas4944318
Montgomery405778
Summit3294217
Marion288444
Butler271459
Mahoning2411253
Pickaway235742
Stark1690132
Lorain163476
Warren163435
Columbiana158260
Trumbull1433103
Fairfield125425
Delaware120618
Licking112543
Clark108613
Lake104336
Wood92458
Clermont85511
Medina83533
Miami76937
Tuscarawas74713
Portage71760
Allen65442
Greene62611
Belmont58926
Richland54012
Ashtabula53945
Mercer53513
Geauga53143
Erie52427
Wayne49958
Ross4014
Huron3764
Ottawa35925
Athens3451
Madison33310
Sandusky33217
Holmes3226
Darke32127
Hancock3202
Auglaize2225
Lawrence2200
Union2161
Jefferson2063
Washington19722
Putnam19217
Scioto1881
Coshocton1866
Muskingum1811
Knox1692
Crawford1685
Preble1662
Seneca1613
Shelby1604
Morrow1582
Hardin15012
Clinton1486
Fulton1401
Champaign1381
Ashland1333
Highland1321
Defiance1294
Williams1243
Logan1231
Wyandot1207
Brown1121
Guernsey1117
Hocking1119
Carroll1085
Henry1061
Perry1062
Fayette970
Monroe9118
Van Wert691
Jackson670
Pike660
Paulding610
Gallia581
Adams532
Vinton302
Meigs250
Harrison201
Morgan200
Noble170
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 52°
Angola
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 52°
Huntington
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 54°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 72°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 72°
Sunny Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events