Overcrowding at Border Patrol stations has led to a situation where migrant children are stuck sleeping on concrete benches or even outside, according to three U.S. government officials and documents reviewed by NBC News.
The children are supposed to be sheltered at a Health and Human Services facility, where they sleep in bunk beds, attend school, and are assigned social workers who check in with them about their well-being and the status of their case, but those facilities are operating at 97 percent capacity, far over its designated "red zone" of 90 percent.
This means there are significant delays in HHS being able to find children a place in their care, and the kids must stay in a Border Patrol station. Officials warn there would be more deaths of children at the border until HHS receives more funding from Congress for their facilities.
Data reviewed by NBC showed, as of May 31, there were 1,448 unaccompanied migrant children in Border Patrol custody for more than 72 hours, the limit for a migrant of any age.
HHS was warned in January its plans to close its Texas tent facility for 3,000 children would result in overcrowding in facilities run by the Border Patrol.
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