After declining through most of last year during the coronavirus epidemic, the number of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border — mostly teenagers — is rising to early-2018 levels. The surge coincides with a shortage of beds in government shelters due to the virus and is forcing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to open makeshift tent facilities around the country to house the children while observing social distancing guidelines.
Sources: “Latest UC Data — FY2018,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Feb. 1, 2021, https://tinyurl.com/296jzpme; “Latest UC Data — FY2019,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Feb. 1, 2021, https://tinyurl.com/3pea778n; “Latest UC Data — FY2020,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Feb. 1, 2021, https://tinyurl.com/mjthfux6; “Latest UC Data — FY2021,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, March 2, 2021, https://tinyurl.com/85km9w87; “Fact Sheet: Unaccompanied Children (UC) Program,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, March 1, 2021, https://tinyurl.com/tachwfmw; and Nick Miroff, Andrew Ba Tran and Leslie Shapiro, “Hundreds of minors are crossing the border each day without their parents. Who are they?” The Washington Post, March 11, 2021, https://tinyurl.com/2b5vvmr5
Data for the graphic are as follows:
|Month||Year||Average Number of Children in Shelters|