Carper Highlights Administration’s Vast Progress on Resettling Unaccompanied Minors at Southern Border

Statistics show a 92 percent reduction in unaccompanied minors held in CBP custody

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At today’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) hearing, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior member of the Committee, commended Homeland Security Secretary Ali Mayorkas and the Biden Administration’s progress towards humanely reducing the number of unaccompanied children held in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities near the Southern border. Grappling with a dismantled immigration system that has been in need of reforms for decades now, in less than two months, officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have diligently worked to resettle the vast majority of asylum-seeking unaccompanied minors with sponsors in the United States or in facilities better suited for the care of children.

From a March 28 peak of 5,767 unaccompanied minors in CBP custody, as of May 10 there was 455 unaccompanied minors in custody – a 92 percent reduction.

The average number of hours spent in CBP custody has also plummeted, from 133 hours on March 28 to 26 hours on May 11 – an 80 percent reduction.

“We’re reminded in scripture: When I was a stranger in your land did you welcome me? And Matthew 25 says we have a moral obligation to the least of these,” Carper said. “I just want to take my hat off to CBP folks…the men and women down at the border doing this work every day. And I just want to take my hat off to the folks from HHS, who are taking the hand off to do difficult work, important work, but in compliance with Flores … There are some things we can do, and need to do, and if we follow up and work together across the aisle and with this new Administration. We can make great progress. We can turn this around – and I want to do that.” 

In early April, Senator Carper led a delegation to El Paso and our Southern Border to see firsthand the steps the Administration was taking to rebuild a humane and fair asylum system. On April 23, Politico published an article and interview with Carper about his longtime leadership in addressing the root causes of migration from Central America, his working relationship with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on immigration and his most recent congressional delegation to the border last month.

You can watch Senator Carper’s full questions from today’s hearing here.