Monday, October 26, 2015


Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services has released this FAQ, which includes basic information, such as the following:

What happens to children when they cross the border into the United States? Are they always taken into custody by U.S. authorities?

If children are encountered crossing into the United States without permission by Custom and Border Protection (CBP) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), they are always taken into custody. The overwhelming majority, 93% in Fiscal Year 2014, are apprehended directly by U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) between official Ports of Entry. Other children are encountered at the Ports of Entry, which are monitored by CBP’s Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers. Once children are apprehended, they are taken to short-term holding cells at either USBP stations or OFO stations where they are processed. This includes obtaining their demographic information and interviewing them about how and why they came to the United States. If they are unaccompanied and from non-contiguous countries, children are then transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) for temporary placement pending family reunification.

According to the


Flores Settlement agreement and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), unaccompanied children must be moved out of CBP short-term holding locations and transferred to ORR custody within 72 hours of their apprehension.1 During the summer of 2014, when an unprecedented number of children were fleeing from Central America and being apprehended at the U.S. border, CBP was unable to comply with this timeframe. Today, as the numbers of children being apprehended at the U.S. border are much lower, CBP is generally complying with this timeframe. Likewise, ORR now has the bed space to accept children more quickly from CBP custody.

For a detailed overview of the treatment of unaccompanied children, please read the LIRS report



At the Crossroads for Unaccompanied Migrant Children.

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