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CNN: Number of unaccompanied minors detained so far this month has already surpassed all of February

I mentioned earlier today that the Border Patrol hadn’t released the number of unaccompanied minors picked up in March yet but that when it did it would likely set a new record. This afternoon, CNN is reporting that preliminary numbers show we’ve already surpassed February’s total number with more than a week of March left.

The US Border Patrol has detained more than 11,000 unaccompanied migrant children between February 28 to March 20, according to preliminary government data reviewed by CNN, already eclipsing the number of minors apprehended in the full month of February…

In all of February, Border Patrol apprehended nearly 9,300 unaccompanied children at the US southern border, up from around 5,600 in January.

The number of detentions will also likely surpass, according to the preliminary data, the high during May 2019 when around 11,400 unaccompanied children were arrested on the US-Mexico border.

At the rate this is going, we’ll surpass the May 2019 record by tomorrow or Wednesday. That will leave us one full week to go. Could we surpass 15,000 children this moth? It seems possible. CNN points out that children are just a small part of the surge to the border:

While the growing number of children is a pressing challenge for the administration, kids crossing the border alone still make up the minority of encounters, the preliminary data reveals. Between February 28 and March 20, Border Patrol apprehended more than 60,000 single adults and more than 32,000 families, according to the data.

These are huge numbers but we’re not having the same problems dealing with single adults and families because the Biden administration is still sending most of them back home under a Trump administration policy connected to public health and the coronavirus. The reason for the crisis is that the Biden admin is letting in all of the unaccompanied children (and some parents with young children) which means we suddenly have to find a bed, food, etc. for all of these people.

The Biden administration is already set up to accept up to 3,000 children at the Dallas Convention Center. Now the same will be happening at the San Diego Convention Center, best known as the site of the annual Comic-Con convention:

The San Diego Convention Center, best known for hosting the annual Comic-Con International convention, will soon be used to house unaccompanied migrant children, the city and county announced Monday…

A date for the first arrivals is still being finalized. Children will be provided with food, medical care, a place to sleep and showers. An outdoor recreational area will also be created onsite, according to a statement from San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher.

Historically, the number of migrants coming to the border tends to spike in the spring as temperatures rise. So there’s no reason to think this surge will suddenly subside on March 31. We will set a new record of unaccompanied minors picked up at the border this month but we could set another one in April now that word is out the border is open to children. As bad as things are now, we’re still at the very beginning of this.