FEMA, HHS to address unaccompanied children at border

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Saturday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has joined a 90-day interagency effort to address the situation at the U.S. southwest border, where unaccompanied migrant children continue to arrive in record numbers.

According to DHS, “Since April 2020, the number of encounters at the border has been rising due to ongoing violence, natural disasters, food insecurity, and poverty in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America.”

In a statement released on March 13, DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said “a Border Patrol facility is no place for a child.” Mayorkas went on to say that DHS was “working in partnership with [the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)] to address the needs of unaccompanied children.”

FEMA is now integrated and co-located with HHS to find safe and appropriate lodging for these children. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Federal Protective Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and volunteers from the DHS Volunteer Force are also involved.

The Biden Administration faced criticism earlier this year for housing unaccompanied children in tents and other DHS shelters, including a detention center in Texas.

To learn more about this topic, please follow the links below.
Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas Directs FEMA to Support Response for Unaccompanied Children, Department of Homeland Security
Biden Taps FEMA to Run Interagency Effort to House Record Influx of Migrant Children, Government Executive

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