Mayorkas told Bash that the Biden administration is “working around the clock to move those children out of the Border Patrol facilities into the care and custody of the Department of Health and Human Services that shelters them.”
“I have said repeatedly from the very outset that a Border Patrol station is no place for a child,” the secretary said.
The growing number of migrant arrivals, however, has overwhelmed the administration’s resources, resulting in crowded conditions.
The average time in custody for unaccompanied children continues to hover around 130 hours, exceeding the 72-hour legal limit, though the number of children in Customs and Border Protection custody dropped slightly to just under 4,900, documents show.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that the photos “show what we’ve long been saying, which is that these Border Patrol facilities are not places made for children.” Psaki added that the administration continues to focus on efforts to put in place solutions including expediting processing and opening additional facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Our alternative is to send children back on this treacherous journey,” she added.
This story has been updated with comments from the White House.