Increasing Numbers of Unaccompanied Alien Children at the Southwest Border [Updated April 9, 2021] [open pdf - 744KB]
From the Document: "In the first five months of FY2021, encounters (apprehensions or expulsions) of unaccompanied alien children [hyperlink] (UAC) at the U.S.-Mexico border with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are approaching a level [hyperlink] close to that for all of FY2020. While the number of UAC encounters declined substantially from FY2019 to FY2020, in large part because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, they are expected to rapidly increase [hyperlink] in the coming months, a trend that has attracted considerable media attention. [...] Unaccompanied alien children [hyperlink] are statutorily defined as children who lack lawful immigration status in the United States, are under age 18, and lack a parent or legal guardian in the United States or a parent or legal guardian in the United States who is available to provide care and physical custody. UAC treatment and processing at U.S. borders is governed by several statutes and a legal settlement [hyperlink]."
CRS Insight, IN11638
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/