In the past 2019 fiscal year, the number of children detained at the Southern U.S. border has surpassed previous years' levels by a large margin.
According to figures released by Customs and Border Protection, approximately 76,000 unaccompanied minors were apprehended at the border, compared to just over 50,000 in the fiscal year of 2018. For family units, numbers skyrocketed, with more than 473,000 individuals in family units (adults and children) detained, compared to just approximately 107,000 in FY2018.
While over the previous years a steady increase of families arriving at the Southern U.S. border was recorded (while numbers of minors arriving by themselves fluctuated), the current year has seen an extraordinarily high number of children crossing the border.
Children are often separated from their parents when in Border Protection custody and the number of children in detention has been put at 2,000 on any given day (not including children detained by internal U.S. immigration enforcement unit ICE). The UN on July 8 said that it was “appalled” by the condition in which children were detained by U.S. authorities.