Meanwhile, while all this trolling goes on by Rep. Boebert and the right wing, the Biden administration has quietly been extremely effective over the last month at getting kids out of Border Patrol custody.

The number of kids in Border Patrol custody has dropped 82% in a month.
As I've talked about before, we are not out of the woods yet when it comes to kids at the border, because a new bottleneck could still form if kids aren't sponsored out of Office of Refugee Resettlement shelters fast enough.

But here, too, clear progress is being made.
The Biden administration's efforts to get kids out of custody have been helped by decreasing numbers of unaccompanied kids coming to the border, down 10-15% from March highs.

If you want to know what's happening at the border, check out our fact sheet.…
While the Biden administration deserves credit for their work on unaccompanied children, they are still expelling tens of thousands of *accompanied* children with their parents, sending them to Mexico. The results for many of those families are disastrous.…
One final chart. When kids leave CBP custody they go to the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement for that agency to find a sponsor.

Biden's gotten kids out of CBP custody by massively expanding ORR capacity, not releasing kids more quickly. But look at the trend. That's changing.
"Emergency Influx Shelters" run by ORR are much better than Border Patrol cells, but they're still not places you want a kid to spend weeks in, sitting on cots and doing nothing for days on end. So the administration needs to keep working to speed up the sponsorship process.
If you've made it all the way to the end of the thread, I talked about a lot of these issues when I testified in front of Congress on Tuesday.

You can watch my testimony starting at 31:20 here, and read my longer written statement by clicking on my name.…
Adding to the thread: This story from today makes clear the struggle to speed up the sponsorship process to get kids out of ORR custody and into the hands of their family. There is clearly a LOT of work still to be done on that front.

But as of today, the number of kids in Border Patrol custody—the jail cells and cages at the border where kids sit around in mylar blankets—is down below 1,000 for the first time in two months.
Right now, the Biden administration needs to get this trend line below zero, which is the only way to start really reducing the number of kids in custody.

The line goes down when either (1) fewer kids come to the border, or (2) more kids are released from ORR.
Regarding (1), the number of unaccompanied kids coming to the border IS going down, with an estimated 10-15% drop in April compared to March.
And regarding (2), the number of unaccompanied children released to sponsors is also going up every week.

So if (1) keeps going down and (2) keeps going up, within a week or two we should start seeing real progress made on reducing the overall number of kids in custody.
To sum up: the trends for unaccompanied kids are good, BUT trends can reverse at any time and there is still significantly more work to be done, AND there are still kids languishing in inadequate shelters—still better than Border Patrol cells—while they work to speed things up.
An update on this thread from the end of the week; the good trends continue. Today the Biden administration reported the highest overall drop in kids in custody (CBP + ORR) since reporting began in March.

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More from @ReichlinMelnick

23 Apr
It goes without saying that perception is not policy, which is why criticism of Biden's approach at the border from the right that's focused on specific policy changes—e.g. ending Remain in Mexico/MPP—is so often unsupported by evidence. And of course, Fox News drives perception!
It should also go without saying that an entire right-wing media apparatus shouting for months that Joe Biden has opened the borders is going to cause more people to come to the United States than Joe Biden himself saying "We'll make things better later but don't come right now."
That said, this from an unnamed Obama official is just ridiculous and shows why they failed so badly at the border. It's yet another round of the same "We can't fix our humanitarian protection system because people might use it" crap that is indistinguishable from Trump.
Read 5 tweets
22 Apr
You've got that right. Ken Paxton wants to force the Biden administration to take 10-year-olds, stick them on a plane alone, and deport them without any chance to seek protection as required by law.

It is a truly monstrous request.
Stephen Miller and Gene Hamilton are two of the architects of family separation.

Now they've joined forces with Ken Paxton in an attempt to carry out another wave of cruelty against the most vulnerable people out there; unaccompanied migrant children.
Today's lawsuit shows once again that there is no level of cruelty against immigrant children too high for Stephen Miller and his ilk to celebrate.

They happily use children as pawns in their war against migrants, seeking to inflict as much cruelty as possible as deterrence.
Read 4 tweets
22 Apr
Mike Pence's claim that Biden "inherited the most secure southern border in American history" is some special kind of historical revisionism.

This piece is *riddled* with factual errors, and of course, leaves holes in his logic so gaping you could drive a truck through them.
Pence says that border apprehensions began growing "seemingly overnight."

In reality, by September 2020 apprehensions had risen to the point that we had already hit the highest level since September 2006.

Pence wants to pretend none of that happened and it all began in January.
Mike Pence: "seemingly overnight, illegal immigration surged to levels unseen since 2006."

Reality: a steady increase in apprehensions of single adults which began right after Title 42 went into place in spring 2020 and has been rising every single month since then.
Read 5 tweets
22 Apr
Biden has made only one major border policy change since January—ending MPP.

That decision had virtually no effect on apprehensions, since Title 42 had already effectively replaced MPP in 2020. Just 1.19% of people encountered since Title 42 went into place were put into MPP.
People like @kausmickey like to say "Biden created this crisis through his policies" but when you ask them to point to any specific policy changes and make a case for why that change made more people come, they end up just falling back on the idea that it's just about rhetoric.
Other policy changes that Biden made also did not change the 2020 status quo. For example, PACR, HARP, and the asylum cooperative agreements had already been suspended since March 2020 due to COVID, and Title 42 was already suspended for unaccompanied kids when Biden took office.
Read 5 tweets
21 Apr
Ooh, charts! Okay, well, here's the Tucson Sector's apprehensions since 2016. Note how unlike in Yuma, the spike in apprehensions started in spring last year when Title 42 went into place. Somehow I doubt Governor Ducey is going to mention that?
Now, that last chart may look like a pretty big change over the last few years. But let's look at it in a bit more of a historical context.

Here's Tucson Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, October 1999 to March 2021.

Puts things in context, eh?
Now, what about Yuma Sector? Well, things are a bit different there. Yuma's been really quiet much longer than Tucson Sector, but in the Trump administration it became a place for people to go to seek asylum. We're seeing that again today.
Read 4 tweets
18 Apr
The right wing often suggests that "fraudulent family units" imply child trafficking. But this CBP press release shows what it normally is.

1) An aunt and her niece.
2) A family friend in whose care a mother placed her child.

Once discovered, the adults and kids were separated.
The first example is a perfect case for how an inflexible approach produces bad outcomes. The aunt and her niece were incentivized to lie about being mother and daughter to avoid separation—which didn't work. And now the niece will go to an ORR shelter at taxpayer expense.
The solution to these kinds of separations, between grandparents and grandchildren or aunts and nieces, is to embed ORR caseworkers within the Border Patrol and have the aunt processed as a sponsor right on the spot so they can be released together.
Read 4 tweets

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